Williams of USA snatches gold in men's high jump

Updated: 2011-09-02 10:24


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Williams of USA snatches gold in men's high jump
Jesse Williams of the US reacts during the men's high jump final at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu Sept 1, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

DAEGU - Jesse Williams of the United States took the gold medal of the men's high jump with a clearance of 2.35 meters on Thursday night at the Daegu World Championships.

Williams, at 28, failed all the three attempts to clear 2.37m. But he cleared the bar heights of 2.20m, 2.25m, 2.29m, 2.32m and 2. 35m all with a first-time attempt.

Aleksey Dmitrik of Russia, at 27, won the silver medal, also with a clearance of 2.35m. But he made it in the second attempt when the bar was set at 2.35m.

Trevor Barry of the Bahamas took the bronze with a leap of 2. 32m, which is also his personal best. His previous personal best is 2.28 meters, achieved at the Central American and Caribbean Championships this year.

Zhang Guowei of China, who unexpectedly sneaked into the final with a personal best leap of 2.31 meters during Tuesday's qualification, failed in all his three attempts to clear 2.29m. Zhang finished the 10th place of the 13 jumpers in the final.

In Thursday's final, seven jumpers cleared the bar height at 2. 32m, a new record for this event in the history of 13 IAAF World Championships since 1983. Previously, the one in Rome in 1987 had seen six high jumpers clearing 2.32m in the final.  

Williams, terming the win "unbelievable", said he was in good shape throughout the year and it got better and better.

The American jumper, tipped to win in the high jump, said he didn't feel pressure for being the favorite. "I turned my back from the competition, I did not want to see how the others were jumping."

Dmitrik said Thursday's competition was like a breaking point for him. "I felt like an underdog before the competition and I wanted to prove I am able to jump at major competition."

"I did not feel much support as our coach was saying that I am unstable. I felt hurt and had a huge motivation to change my reputation," he said.

"Thanks to this achievement, I hope I will get a chance to compete on the top level and will perform well regularly," the Russian added.

Barry said he was very happy with a personal best and the medal for the Bahamas, which is traditionally strong in the high jump. The bronze is the first medal for his country in Daegu.

Barry's fellow countryman and 2007 world champion Donald Thomas bowed out at 2.25m, finishing the 11th place.