Respected Russian high jump coach Yevgeniy Zagorulko believes Javier Sotomayor’s legendary 2.45m men’s high jump world record, which has stood since 1993, will be broken this season.
During his career Zagorulko has coached three Olympic champions in Yelena Slesarenko, Andrey Silnov and Anna Chicherova.
With European high jumpers expected to be in fine form this summer, Ivan Ukhov and Bohdan Bondarenko will likely square off and battle for the European champion title in Zurich. A battle we hope will lead to some brilliant performances.
“An Olympic year isn’t the best time for new world records as everyone dreams about medals which creates a form of mental fatigue and athletes lose energy.
“On the contrary, two years before Olympic Games is a very good time to open all potential athletes and to achieve the maximum,” Zagorulko told Sport-Express.
Other international athletes that seem able to possibly break the world record are Canadian Derek Drouin, who achieved 2.40m at the Drake Relays event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday 25 April, and Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim, who beat Ivan Ukhov for gold at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot in March.
As for Zagorulko’s group of jumpers, composed of Olympic champion Anna Chicherova, European champion Aleksandr Shustov and European indoor champion Sergey Mudrov, they are preparing for strong showings at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, the main objective for this year.
Silnov, the 2006 European champion, is also part of the training group but has been suffering with health issues for the past couple of years, although he now seems almost ready to make his return.
Zagorulko said: “We are doing everything to revive his muscle memory. If we cope with this problem, Silnov will show great results and I hope the main event for him this year will be the European championships, like the rest of my team.”