Russian athletes shine at World Indoor Championships

Russia’s Danil Lysenko captured the men’s high jump title while his compatriot Mariya Lasitskene won the women’s gold on day one of the World Indoor Championships.

Danil Lysenko on the podium after winning gold in the men's high jump at IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships.   -  AFP

Russia’s Danil Lysenko captured the men’s high jump title while his compatriot Mariya Lasitskene won the women’s gold on the opening day’s competition of the World Indoor Championships here.

Lysenko, competing as an authorised neutral athlete on Thursday, gained revenge on Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar for his defeat in last year’s London World Championships, Xinhua news agency reported.

The 20-year-old extended his 2018 win streak to nine by clearing 2.36 metres as against the Olympic silver medalist’s best effort of 2.33m. Having registered lifetime bests on three occasions this winter campaign with 2.35m, 2.36m and 2.37m respectively, Lysenko’s Birmingham victory marks his first major international title in an event he only began competing in five years ago.

Enjoying first-time clearances at 2.20m, 2.25m, 2.29m and 2.33m, he needed all three attempts at 2.36m before sailing over on his final chance to deny Barshim the opportunity of a jump. While the bronze medal went to Germany’s Mateusz Przybylko, who registered a second-time clearance at 2.29m for his first major international championship medal.

China’s Wang Yu, European junior champion Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus and 2007 world champion Donald Thomas of the Bahamas finished joint sixth at 2.20m. Lasitskene won her second world indoor title following her 2014 victory by topping 2.01m with her second attempt for her 38th straight victory, eight centimeters higher than the rest of the field.

The field of challengers trailed far behind. Just four jumpers remained in contention at 1.96m, a height none could manage.

Defending champion Vashti Cunningham of the United States won the silver with 1.93m and Italy’s Alesia Trost took the bronze by clearing 1.93m with her second attempt. In the women’s 3,000m final, Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba won the title for the third time in a row after beating world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri, 2016 world indoor 1,500m champion Sifan Hassan and double European indoor champion Laura Muir.

Dibaba, who won the event in 2014 and 2016, clocked eight minutes and 45.05 seconds, ahead of Dutchwoman SHassan in 8:45.68 and Britain’s Muir in 8:45.68.

It was also Dibaba’s fourth world indoor title. She won the 1,500m event at the 2012 World Indoor Championships.

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