World Athletics Indoor Championships: Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh wins emotional high jump gold

Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh won an emotional women’s high jump gold at the World Athletics Indoor Championships.

The 20-year-old, who had to undertake a three-day overland journey from her war-torn home country to reach Serbia, produced a world-leading clearance of 2.02m to claim the title in Belgrade.

Mahuchikh had described the event as her own “front line”, amid the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The crowd cheered as she held her country’s flag aloft in celebration.

“It was very important for me, my family, my country,” Mahuchikh told BBC Sport.

“I don’t think about competition, training. For me, coming here was difficult – three days by car – and to jump here was so difficult psychologically because my heart remains in my country.

“It’s so difficult but I think I’ve done very well for my country because I protect my country on the track. I think it’s a very important thing for my country.”

Australia’s Eleanor Patterson won silver and Kazakhstan’s Nadezhda Dubovitskaya took the bronze medal, while Britain’s Emily Borthwick finished 10th with a clearance of 1.84m.

Mahuchikh was heading for bronze but made 2.00m with her third and final attempt, before producing a sensational first-time clearance at 2.02m. [BBC]

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