Securing victory can have a big psychological effect on athletes as the outdoor season edges towards its finale and Bogdan Bondarenko was a prime example of that in Rovereto on Tuesday evening.
The European high jump champion had twice failed at 2.28m but was determined to make it over as the bar went up.
And succeed he did as he cleared 2.31m before attempting but missing out at 2.36m as he triumphed at the 51st Palio Citta della Quercia, a European Athletics Premium meeting, from the Bahamas’ Donald Thomas (2.25m).
Ukrainian Bondarenko has not competed much this summer but he shared world silver in Beijing last month and will remain one of Europe’s major contenders for Olympic glory next year.
It was a good night for European victories in Rovereto, both on the track and in the field.
Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre had a fine 200m win in 20.31 from Jamaica’s World No. 3 Rasheed Dwyer (20.33), who ran 19.80 in July, and American Terrel Cotton (20.47), while Russia’s Konstantin Tolokonnikov maintained what has been a brilliant year as he won the 800m from Morocco’s Amine El Manaoui, both men ending with the same time (1:46.12).
Tolokonnikov, 19, earned valuable points for his country when he was fourth at the European Athletics Team Championships in Cheboksary in June before winning 800m silver and 4x400m relay gold a month later at the European Athletics Junior Championships in Eskilstuna.
Turkey’s Ali Kaya is another athlete who has had a memorable 2015 with his 3000m victory at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague in March and here he triumphed in the 5000m (13:25.41) from Italy’s Marouan Razine (13:29.77).
Lithuanian Andrius Gudzius (63.05m) won the discus, but there was countback defeat for Russia’s Ilya Mudrov in the pole vault as he shared the same height of 5.51m with Argentina's German Chiaraviglio.
As Canada’s Fiona Benson (4:05.62) won the 1500m, Ireland’s Ciara Mageean (4:06.54) ran a personal best for second, Ukraine’s Hanna Plotitsyna sprinted to victory in the 100m hurdles (13.13) and Belarusian Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova won the long jump (6.65m).