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Athletics - it just doesn’t get better than this?

There was some great athletics over the weekend in Paris, especially in the women’s’ events. Faith Kipyegon’s world record in the 1500m breaking her own 2023 mark was exceptionally fast, dragging a dozen of the rest of the field round to national records or PBs.

But surely the performance that 'topped' even that was Ukrainian, Yaroslava Mahuchikh’s, 2.10m world record high jump. That it broke a 37 year old record, makes one realise how tough it was to do. Remember that the previous record was set by a Bulgarian in the days before the collapse of the Soviet Union and proper drug testing protocols existed. There's only a handful of other women's records that have stood that long, and there's 'question marks' about most of them.

But for me, what is astonishing is just how high a 2.1m high jump is. I have cleared that in the pole vault, as a teenager, in the days before bendy fibreglass poles were common. If you live in a normal house your internal doors are about 2.05m high and that doesn’t look that high. You may be able to jump up and get your head as high as that. But here’s another way of thinking about this record jump. Yaroslava Mahuchikh jumped backwards above your door effectively scraping her stomach on your ceiling. Truly unbelieveable!

I just can’t wait for the Olympics and see what other superheroes’ performances we will witness.


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