Mahuchikh dominates the high jump final and comes close to the world U20 record

Yaroslava Mahuchikh
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Ukraine's Yaroslava Mahuchikh cleared 1.92m to win the high jump title at the Boras 2019 European Athletics U20 Championships

The championship record of 1.95m remains intact for at least two more years but the world U20 record of 2.01m might not survive for too much longer such is the dizzying progression of Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh in the high jump.

After winning gold medals at the IAAF World U18 Championships in 2017 and the European U18 Championships in 2018, Mahuchikh won her third successive major age-group title with an absolutely faultless display at the Boras 2019 European Athletics U20 Championships.

Mahuchikh produced six first-time clearances between 1.75m and 1.92m to win by one clear height from 16-year-old Adelina Khalikova from Russia who set PBs at 1.87m and 1.90m before three unsuccessful attempts at 1.92m.

The championship record of 1.95m which is jointly held by Yelena Yelesina and Mariya Lasitskene would have been within Mahuchikh’s capacity but the precocious Ukrainian instead raised the raise to an outright world U20 record of 2.02m.

Mahuchikh had three credible attempts at the prospective mark and she still has one full season left in the junior ranks to challenge the record. “I was preparing for this result but in my mind, maybe I was not ready. I’m still happy to clear 1.92m. Clearing 2.02m is more mental than physical but next time my mind will be ready,” said Mahuchikh.

Mahuchikh has already put together a tremendous season which will culminate with her senior debut at the IAAF World Championships in Doha. The Ukrainian set a world indoor U20 record of 1.99m in February, became the joint youngest female winner of a Diamond League competition in Doha and then became the youngest ever jumper to clear 2.00m - a feat she achieved in Stanford in June.

“It was on my second attempt and I didn’t believe I jumped 2.00m,” said Mahuchikh, reflecting on that performance. “I was really happy and I think I can jump higher.”

Mahuchikh’s teammate Valeriya Ivanenko also continued her seamless progression through the age-group ranks, following up her title from the European U18 Championships last summer with another in the hammer in Boras.

Ivanenko had the three best throws of the competition and she saved the best until the end, concluding her series with 65.83m to win ahead of Germany’s Samantha Borutta with 63.53m and make it a Ukrainian double in the event following Myhaylo Kokhan's win yesterday.

Ehammer dominates the second day of the decathlon  

Simon Ehammer’s lead in the decathlon might have ebbed and flowed over the course of the second day but the Swiss was in the position every decathlete dreams of being in before the 1500m.

Ehammer led by 301 points after nine events and the world U20 bronze medallist could afford to treat the tenth event as a formality with the knowledge the title could not be taken out of his grasp.

Ehammer didn’t break the five minute-mark for the 1500m - he was the second slowest in the second heat in 5:04.25 - but he still set a national U20 record of 7851 points to go alongside his gold medal.

The Netherlands’ Leon Mak won silver with a PB of 7700 points, just six points ahead of 17-year-old Markus Rooth from Norway who set an eye-popping lifetime best of 22 seconds in the 1500m of 4:37.28 to prise the bronze medal away from Germany’s world U20 leader Leo Neugebauer - 7692 points to 7669 points.

While an almighty tussle ensued for the silver and bronze, Ehammer cruised home some 100 metres after the rest of the medals were decided. His day started with a championship best of 13.57 in the 110m hurdles to take his lead out to more than 400 points but it was cut back sharply after a best of 35.24m in the discus compared to Neugebauer’s 51.04m. Ehammer performed solidly in the next two events - 4.70m in the pole vault and 49.45m in the javelin - which embellished his margin ahead of the 1500m.

"Yesterday was already a great day but today I had a perfect start with the hurdles. That gave me an extra push for the next disciplines. I was in the flow both days and did not focus too much. I struggled a bit with the discuss but we have put more emphasis in the speed disciplines," he said. “I can do so much better.”

Scotti sets European U20 lead to win the 400m title

Edoardo Scotti has been part of the Italian gold medal-winning team at both the 2017 European U20 Championships and 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships but he tasted individual success in the 400m final.

Scotti trailed in a close second to Spain’s Bernat Erta in yesterday’s heats - 46.28 to 46.29 - but on the basis of that race, the Italian clearly had plenty in reserve as he reversed that outcome when it mattered, winning Italy’s third gold medal of the championships in 45.85 to Erta’s 46.24.

“My dream came true today,” said Scotti. “I was thinking about that moment a lot in the past. My season was not that good but today I could put it all together. I am the captain of the team and I wanted to be a role model for my teammates. Later on at the ceremony I will sing our anthem.”

Polina Miller was similarly dominant in the women’s 400m, winning in 51.72 ahead of lifetime bests from Great Britain’s Amber Anning (52.18) and Barbora Malikova (52.37), also a Czech U20 record.