Mariya Lasitskene viewed her season’s opener at the Stolitsa shopping centre in Minsk on Saturday (23) evening as an opportunity to work on her technique in a competitive environment and the 24-year-old came away encouraged by her early season performance.
Lasitskene cleared 2.00m once again before attempting 2.08m which would have equalled Sweden's Kajsa Bergqvist’s eleven-year-old world indoor record.
"My coach said we should try 2.08m and I never go against him. I feel very good and two meters in December is certainly very good. It also means we are on the right track, planning to continue to improve," said Lasitskene, who is planning a full indoor season in 2018.
— Maria Lasitskene (@MariaKuchina) December 23, 2017
Her first competition of 2018 will be in Chelyabinsk on 11 January before competitions in Moscow on 17 January and 21 January and Volgograd on 27 January. Her main aim for the indoor season is the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham where she will aim to regain the title she won in Sopot 2014.
Ukraine’s Kateryna Tabashnyk cleared an indoor lifetime best of 1.92m to finish second with Mariya Zhodik third on home soil with 1.87m.
In the men’s competition, Ukraine’s Viktor Lonskyy equalled his outright lifetime best at 2.28m to defeat European indoor bronze medallist Pavel Seliverstau, who was second with 2.24m. Reigning European U20 champion Maksim Nedasekau cleared 2.22m to finish third.
"I'm excited about my new personal record. I knew I could clear this height. In training, I have cleared good heights but I will not say which ones because I am superstitious. Of course, the support of spectators encouraged me greatly! The opponents are very strong," said Lonskyy.