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Grabarz jumps to Euro title

Robbie Grabarz jumps to European title

Robbie Grabarz jumps to European title

Robbie Grabarz has had a big breakthrough this year. He cleared 2.36m which ranks him second in the world in New York and he finished sixth in the World indoor championships in Doha.

Last year he wasn’t good enough to make Britain’s team for the World Championships and he failed to make it through the qualifying at the European Athletics Indoor Champion. This year he is the European champion.

The vastly improved and confident Grabarz dominated the competition to win Britain’s first gold medal in the event for 62 years when Alan Patterson who cleared a more modest 1.98m.

This win sets up the Briton as one of the favourites for the Olympics in London though his 2.31m winning mark ties the lowest height since 1982.

“I was quite bold in the fact that I came here for the title, I wanted to put pressure on myself beforehand as it’s only going to get worse going into London, so if I can apply some pressure to myself, it’s only going to help me in the Games,” said Grabarz.

Ten of the 12 jumpers attempted 2.20m and only Bohdan Bondarenko, who won two titles in 2011 failed his first attempt. He was both the World University Games winner and the European under 23 champion and he cleared second time but that was as far as he got as he failed at 2.24m after passing at 2.20m.

Samson Oni, who was seventh at the World Indoor Championships entered at 2.20m and casually kept his tights on but failed all three attempts and was the only athlete to exit the competition at this height.

The bar then moved on to 2.24m and the final competitor Grabarz entered the competition even though he had only cleared 2.23m in qualifying and failed at 2.26m.

Grabarz was looking better this time and he cleared 2.24m at the first attempt and at this stage he was joint leader with two others.

One of these was Frenchman Mickael Hannay, who has cleared 2.31m this year and has a lifetime best of 2.32m . He was the American collegiate champion in 2008 and finished fifth in the 2009 World Championships.

He, along with the young Italian, the European junior bronze medallist Gianmarco Tamberi had cleared all three heights up to this point but the Italian was not to clear higher.

With just his second jump of the competition Grabarz went clear at 2.28m first time and already that looked like it might be enough for gold as everyone else would have go higher to beat him,and while he was sailing over, his rivals were struggling.

The next person clear at 2.28m was a surprise. Lithuanian Raivydas Stanys had a season’s best of just 2.25m before Helsinki and then he cleared 2.26m in qualifying which was beyond Grabarz. Here he went over a PB 2.28m at the second attempt to go into second.

Then with his final attempt, Hannay went into third as he rattled the bar with his last attempt. Also clear at the last attempt was Russian Sergey Mudrov, the athlete with the sole opportunity of ensuring Russia won their fourth successive gold medal in the event but he too would need a higher height and his 2.28m was a season’s best.

The bar then was raised to 2.31m. Of the first attempts Grabarz was the best and then he hit the bar on the second but it stayed on and he strengthened his hold on gold.

Immediately after Stanys set another PB with probably a better clearance than the Brit and go second because of his earlier failure at 2.28m.

Neither Hanany or Mudrov could clear 2.31m and the battle for gold was between the Briton and Lithuanian at 2.34m compared to Andrey Silnov’s championship record of 2.36m.

The Briton came close with his jumps but Stanys was not surprisingly unable to set his third PB of the night but was a delighted silver medallist (Lithuania’s first at this event) as France took bronze and Grabarz grabbed the gold.

He said, “This was a great learning experience for me being my first senior championships.”

Jaroslav Baba, who won a bronze medal in 2004 at both the Olympics and World Indoor Championships, and has a 2.36m PB but off form this year, could only finish eighth.

Big names who failed to make the final included 1990 champion Dragutin Topic, still going strong with a 2.28m clearance this year and Ukraine’s 2.31m jumper this year Andrey Protsenko.


  1. […] Grabarz jumps to Euro title is a post from: Time-to-Run Europe […]

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