Ukraine’s Yuliya Levchenko became the first athlete to clear 2.00m outdoors in the high jump this summer at the Irena Szewinska Memorial in Bydgoszcz, a World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meeting, on Wednesday evening (19).
Levchenko might have been somewhat overshadowed by the accomplishments of her precocious teammate Yaroslava Mahuchikh over the last twelve months but Levchenko reminded us of her excellent credentials by clearing a world lead of 2.00m to hand Mahuchikh her first defeat since the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha.
Mahuchikh defeated Levchenko in Monaco on Friday night and another victory seemed to be heading in her direction. Mahuchikh, 18, led on countback with first-time clearances at 1.94m and 1.97m but Levchenko sealed victory courtesy of a clutch third-time clearance at 2.00m before three attempts at a prospective lifetime best of 2.04m.
Levchenko said last season that Bydgoszcz is one of her favourite places to compete and the Zawisza Stadium will have only gone up in her estimations after last night. The 22-year-old won her first major medal in this arena at the World U20 Championships in 2016, one year before winning the European U23 title in the same stadium. Levchenko was also a winner at the European Athletics Team Championships in Bydgoszcz last August.
The two Ukrainians will go head-to-head again in the Stockholm Diamond League on Sunday (23) afternoon with the head-to-head tantalisingly poised at 1-1 based on outdoor competitions in 2020.
More to follow…