Beitia eyes London after clearing a season’s best 2.00m | 26.07.2012
|European high jump champion Ruth Beitia of Spain.
One athlete who may well take advantage of the situation is Spain’s Ruth Beitia who cleared a season’s best on Wednesday to raise Spanish hopes of a medal.
In the Gran Premio de Cantabria in Santander she cleared a season’s best 2m, making her the fifth best jumper of the season. It was her highest jump for two years.
Fifth best may not sound too encouraging, but for the fact that only three centimetres separates the top five in the world this year. Chicherova leads the way with her 2.03 from the Russian championships and the only other European in that tight grouping is Svetlana Shkolina who has only gone one centimetre higher than the Spaniard.
For an athlete in the twilight of her career, it all must have seemed unlikely just a month ago for Beitia who is now 33.
But then she went to Helsinki and collected a surprise gold. Apart from Ibero-American and Mediterranean Games titles, the European title represented the biggest win of her long career.
Beitia now lies tantalisingly close to the Spanish record of 2.02m which she owns. That was set five years ago, but with new-found confidence after Helsinki and the Olympics close at hand, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that she will find the inspiration to continue her fine vein of form in London.
Spanish hammer record for Castells
In other news from Spain, hammer thrower Berta Castells has set her fourth senior national record with a throw of 69.59.
The new record was set on Tuesday evening in Manresa, the record coming in the first round and was followed by two more efforts over 68m. That beats Castells’ old record set in Malaga last year by six centimetres.
The 28 year old Catalan won European junior bronze in 2001, the year she also won silver at the world youth games.
Two years ago she took silver in the Ibero-American championships and this year she made the final of the European championships in Helsinki where she finished ninth.