High Jump: Mahuchikh Flies To Trophy Defense
IT TOOK a world-leading jump for Yaroslava Mahuchikh to claim the trophy. Rival Nicola Olyslagers matched that 6-8 (2.03) on her third attempt to raise her Australian Record. But Ukraine’s world champion finished her season unbeaten since back-to-back losses to Olyslagers and Ukrainian teammate Iryna Gerashchenko at Lausanne and Monaco in July.
Four in the 7-women field were eliminated by the fourth bar setting — including USATF champ Vashti Cunningham, who scaled 6-3¼ (1.91) and then missed at 6-4¾ (1.95).
That left Mahuchikh and Olyslagers with no misses and Angelina Topić — the 18-year-old WC 7th-placer whose father Dragutin earned a high jump 4th at the ’96 Olympics.
For teen Topić, who went over 6-4¾ on first try, the next height 6-6 (1.98) would have been a PR by a centimeter but was a bar too far this time. Mahuchikh made it on her first attempt, while Olyslagers slipped over on third.
The Aussie smiled and played engagingly to the crowd when she got over 6-7 (2.03) on first, as did Mahuchikh when she matched that.
On to 6-8 (2.03), scaled by no jumper this year — until now as Mahuchikh glided over with solid bar clearance. Olyslagers needed all three tries and on her last left the jiggled bar in place before bounding off the pit all smiles and waving arms to celebrate her national record.
When neither jumper got over 6-8¾ (2.05) — Mahuchikh owns a 6-9 (2.06) best from the ’21 indoor campaign — the Ukrainian left happy having defended her DL title.
“I’m happy that I have the opportunity to compete and show all the world that we are strongest, we are from Ukraine,” said Mahuchikh, a symbol of hope in her embattled country. “It’s really a pleasure to compete here again. Now it’s extra important because it’s precious that I have the opportunity to represent my country and show all the world that in my country… we are fighting and all our people are fighting in different spheres. I’m fighting on the track and after this I have opportunity to talk to journalists so I talk and spread all news to all the world. I have hope and belief that next year it’s finally over.”
1. Yaroslava Mahuchikh (Ukr) 6-8 (2.03) (WL) (6-3¼, 6-4¾, 6-6, 6-7, 6-8 , 6-8¾ [xxx]) (1.91, 1.95, 1.98, 2.01, 2.03 , 2.05 [xxx]); 2. Nicola Olyslagers (Aus) 6-8 NR (=WL) (6-1½, 6-3¼, 6-4¾, 6-6 , 6-7, 6-8 , 6-8¾ [xxx]) (1.87, 1.91, 1.95, 1.98 , 2.01, 2.03 , 2.05 [xxx]);
3. Angelina Topić (Ser) 6-4¾ (1.95); 4. Vashti Cunningham (US) 6-3¼ (1.91); 5. tie, Morgan Lake (GB) & Yuliya Levchenko (Ukr) 6-3¼; 7. Iryna Gerashchenko (Ukr) 6-1½ (1.87).
Pole Vault: Moon Stays On Big Meet Roll
KATIE MOON has become the consummate big-meet performer. No one would argue that after an Olympic gold and consecutive Worlds golds. And now she says she’s even better, telling a press conference the day before, “I feel like my mental game has really stepped up.”
The next day, she added the Diamond League title with a meet record 15-11¼ (4.86) on her first attempt to seal the win over Slovenia’s Tina Šutej, the Budapest 4th-placer.
Moon came in with a first-attempt clearance at 14-11½ (4.56), that tied her for the lead with Šutej, Sandi Morris, and co-world champion Nina Kennedy. Wilma Murto needed two tries, and Italian Roberta Bruni needed three.
Morris made things interesting at the next bar, 15-5½ (4.71), being the only one to clear on her first. Moon and Šutej each needed two. Murto made it on her third, and both Kennedy and Bruni went out. At 15-9¼ (4.81) Šutej cleared a new NR with plenty of room, followed by Moon with a clean clearance of her own. Morris and Murto both passed after missing their first.
The bar went to its ultimate height, 15-11¼ (4.86), where Morris and Murto each missed their two remaining jumps and called it a day. Šutej missed three, but when Moon did also despite having plenty of height over the bar, it was time for a jumpoff.
There was no sharing this time around. Šutej missed. Moon cleared with minimal contact: game over. “This one, being the last meet of the season, I wanted to give it one more good one,” explained Moon. “I ended on a jumpoff, funny enough. I’m just so ecstatic that I could do it in Eugene.”
1. Katie Moon (US) 15-11¼ (4.86) (14-11½, 15-5½ , 15-9¼, 15-11¼ ) (4.56, 4.71 , 4.81, 4.86 ); 2. Tina Šutej (Slo) 15-9¼ (4.81) NR (14-5½, 14-11½, 15-5½ , 15-9¼, 15-11¼ [xxxx]) (4.41, 4.56, 4.71 , 4.81, 4.86 [xxxx]); 3. Sandi Morris (US) 15-5½ (4.71) (14-11½, 15-5½, 15-9¼ [x], 15-11¼ [xx]) (4.56, 4.71, 4.81 [x], 4.86 [xx]); 4. Wilma Murto (Fin) 15-5½ (4.71); 5. Nina Kennedy (Aus) 14-11½ (4.56); 6. Roberta Bruni (Ita) 14-11½.
Long Jump: A Fifth Trophy For Vuleta
WORLD CHAMPION Ivana Vuleta wasn’t about to be denied her fifth Diamond League title in the long jump. It wasn’t at all easy; in the end, she had to work hard for it.
As with the men’s competition, the Hayward runway wasn’t yielding any big jumps. The Serbian great opened with a 21-10¼ (6.66), a mark that would not have cracked the top 7 in Budapest. Here, it gave her the first-round lead. American Quanesha Burks moved to 2nd with her 21-7½ (6.59), then matched Vuleta’s mark in round 2, which gave her the lead on a tiebreaker.
In round 3, Britain’s Jazmin Sawyers made it to the lead briefly with her 21-10¾ (6.67). Then came Esa Brume’s moment. Jumping next, the Budapest 4th-placer reached 22-5¾ (6.85), which would be the only season best of the competition. Vuleta tried to respond to the Nigerian, but it wasn’t enough, her 21-11 (6.68) moving her back into 2nd while knocking Burks down to 3rd.
In round 4, Australia’s Brooke Buschkuehl took over the second spot with her 22-¼ (6.71). The next round saw Vuleta improve to 22-2½ (6.77) to reclaim 2nd, then Burks hit her own 22-2½ to move back to 3rd.
Vuleta had one last shot to get a record fifth trophy, while Brume intended to pass with injury trouble. Therein came unexpected drama. Vuleta’s jump looked good, but officials first reported it as 22-2½ (6.77), so she would be runner-up. As she was congratulating Brume on the win, the announcement came that Vuleta had actually matched Brume’s 22-5¾ (6.85) and would claim the trophy on the tiebreaker. They embraced as Brume, done for the day, could not respond.
Later, Vuleta revealed that she had been struggling with Achilles problems all year. “I really wanted to finish this season as planned, so I’m really, really happy with this trophy,” she said.
1. Ivana Vuleta (Ser) 22-5¾ (6.85) (21-10¼, f, 21-11, 21-6¼, 22-2½, 22-5¾) (6.66, f, 6.68, 6.56, 6.77, 6.85); 2. Ese Brume (Ngr) 22-5¾ (21-7¼, 20-8, 22-5¾, 21-8¼, 21-11½, p) (6.58, 6.30, 6.85, 6.61, 6.69, p); 3. Quanesha Burks (US) 22-2½ (6.77) (21-7½, 21-10¼w, f, f, 22-2½, f) (6.59, 6.66w, f, f, 6.77, f); 4. Brooke Buschkuehl (Aus) 22-¼ (6.71); 5. Jazmin Sawyers (GB) 21-11 (6.68); 6. Taliyah Brooks (US) 21-2 (6.45).
Triple Jump: World-Leading Rojas Rejoinder
WHEN YOU’RE THE WR holder, opening with a pair of fouls probably isn’t all that unsettling, particularly if the setup is such that the protocol provides for all the entrants to get 6 attempts. Still, favored Yulimar Rojas needed 3 shots to get a viable mark and didn’t move into the lead until her fifth trip down the runway.
While the Venezuelan ace was starting off with a pair of miscues, Shanieka Ricketts took the first-round lead with her 48-2½ (14.69) and added 10cm on her next attempt, reaching 48-6¼w.
It was Ricketts’ turn to foul in stanza 3, with fellow Jamaican Kim Williams moving into 2nd at a seasonal best 47-11¼ (14.61). Rojas closed things out by moving into 3rd at 47-8 (14.73), but fouled again in round 4.
The real Rojas showed up in the penultimate sequence, raising her yearly world lead to 50-4½ (15.35).
Ricketts would need to PR by just over a foot to retake the lead. That was beyond her, but at 49-2½ (15.00) she was just a centimeter off her lifetime best. Continuing the best jumping of her life at age 31, Ricketts closed out her day with another PR, 49-9¾ (15.03).
Rojas finished her day with another foul, but ran her streak of wins over Ricketts to 12, dating back to the ’21 Olympics. Overall, Rojas has a 25–4 head-to-head margin.
1. Yulimar Rojas (Ven) 50-4½ (15.35) (WL) (f, f, 47-8, f, 50-4½, f) (f, f, 14.53, f, 15.35, f);
2. Shanieka Ricketts (Jam) 49-3¾ (15.03) PR (48-2½, 48-6¼w, f, 48-2½, 49-2½, 49-3¾) (14.69, 14.79w, f, 14.69, 15.00, 15.03); 3. Kim Williams (Jam) 47-11¼ (14.61); 4. Dariya Derkach (Ita) 47-7¾ (14.52) PR; 5. Thea LaFond (Dom) 47-5¼ (14.46).
Shot: Ealey’s American Record Blast
IT WAS MISSION accomplished for Chase Ealey as she not only successfully defended her DL title, but perhaps more importantly, claimed the American Record, reaching 68-1½ (20.76).
“That was something really important to me this season. And to do it in the last meet… I held it off, didn’t I? But I’ve been wanting to do it all season and I told my coach I was gonna do it this meet. And so I felt really good about it, I was so excited.”
The 2-time world champ’s target was Michelle Carter’s 67-8¼ (20.63), set in winning Rio gold in ’16. After a 64-10½ (19.77) opener gave Ealey a lead she wouldn’t relinquish at the end of any round, she gave the AR a good scare in the second round, punching out a world-leading 67-7½ (20.61). On a roll, she claimed the AR on her third try, becoming the first American to join the 68-foot club.
As in Budapest, silver went to Sarah Mitton, the Canadian Recordholder reaching 65-5 (19.94). A Portuguese Record 65-4¼ (19.92) made Auriol Dongmo a close bronze.
1. Chase Ealey (US) 68-1½ (20.76) AR (old AR 67-8¼/20.63 Michelle Carter [Nik] ’16) (64-10½, 67-7½ PR [WL, AL] [2, 2 A], 68-1½, f, f, f) (19.77, 20.61, 20.76, f, f, f) (WL);
2. Sarah Mitton (Can) 65-5 (19.94) (63-9½, 65-5, 64-11¼, f, 63-5½, 65-4¾) (19.44, 19.94, 19.79, f, 19.34, 19.93); 3. Auriol Dongmo (Por) 65-4¼ (19.92) NR (61-11, 63-11½, 65-4¼, 64-6½, 62-10¾, f) (18.87, 19.49, 19.92, 19.67, 19.17, f); 4. Jessica Schilder (Neth) 65-2¾ (19.88); 5. Maggie Ewen (US) 65-½ (19.82); 6. Danniel Thomas-Dodd (Jam) 62-10¾ (19.17).
Discus: Allman Reverses WC Upset
THE WORLD CHAMPS comp had played out as a major surprise. Laulauga Tausaga-Collins authored a stunning upset, when she launchd a huge PR that lifted her to an 11-inch win over strong favorite Valarie Allman. In the interim, the 28-year-old Allman showed she had lost nothing off her fastball, raising the yearly world lead to 231-2 (70.47).
Allman opened up here with 225-3 (68.66), with the new world champ in a different zip code with 198-3 (60.42) for 4th. Both fouled on second attempt, but then Tausaga-Collins unleashed the second-best throw of her life, 224-3 (68.36) and we had us a new ballgame.
Or at least the promise of one… but then both of them fouled in rounds 4 and 5. And when LTC fouled her final attempt Allman had her third DL Trophy in a row. She put an exclamation point on her victory with another heave good enough to win, 224-9 (68.51).
Third went to Croatian vet Sandra Perković, who in the years 2012–17 owned this meet, racking up 6 straight wins.
1. Valarie Allman (US) 225-3 (68.66) (225-3, f, 208-9, f, f, 224-9) (68.66, f, 63.64, f, f, 68.51); 2. Laulauga Tausaga-Collins (US) 224-3 (68.36) (198-3, f, 224-3, f, f, f) (60.42, f, 68.36, f, f, f); 3. Sandra Perković (Cro) 219-4 (66.85) (219-4, 217-2, f, f, 217-2, f) (66.85, 66.20, f, f, 66.20, f); 4. Jorinde van Klinken (Neth) 216-7 (66.03); 5. Kristin Pudenz (Ger) 206-7 (62.96); 6. Claudine Vita (Ger) 201-9 (61.51); 7. Mélina Robert-Michon (Fra) 201-0 (61.26).
Javelin: Kitaguchi Strikes Early This Time
WINNING LATE in a comp has oft been world champion Haruka Kitaguchi’s MO this season. Not here, for the 25-year-old Japanese who earned Worlds bronze on this apron in ’22. Here she had defending DL champion Kara Winger on hand at Hayward Field to congratulate her successor.
In round 1 Budapest bronze medalist Mackenzie Little took the early lead 200-11 (61.24) with what proved to be her longest of the day. A 198-7 (60.53) cast from New Zealand record holder Tori Peeters left Kitaguchi 3rd after she finished out frame 1 with 194-9 (59.36).
After no improvements for the first 6 to throw in round 2, Kitaguchi stepped on to the runway, bounced up and down before initiating her run and flew the javelin followed by a smile as she watched it fly out to 209-3 (63.78). Although not in the ballpark of her 221-1 (67.38) Japanese record in Brussels, it was good for the lead, and as it turned out the victory.
Kitaguchi fouled her third and managed 205-11 (62.76, also long enough to win) on her last. In frame 4, Peters, 29, reached 201-1 (61.30) to jump over Little for 2nd.
“I’m so happy about this win and also the World Championships win; it’s really amazing,” Kitaguchi said. “I’m really happy to come back here. Everyone’s cheering every athlete, so it’s really good.
“I have more competitions in Japan [where cooler autumn weather means autumn meets). Noting she had not been home since Budapest, she added, “Now it’s first time, so I can’t imagine” the anticipated heroine’s welcome.
1. Haruka Kitaguchi (Jpn) 209-3 (63.78) (194-9, 209-3, f, 191-11, 193-9, 205-11) (59.36, 63.78, f, 58.50, 59.06, 62.76); 2. Tori Peeters (NZ) 201-1 (61.30) (198-7, 192-5, f, 201-1, 192-10, 191-3) (60.53, 58.66, f, 61.30, 58.79, 58.29); 3. Mackenzie Little (Aus) 200-11 (61.24); 4. Maggie Malone (US) 198-3 (60.42); 5. Līna Mūze-Sirmā (Lat) 195-10 (59.69); 6. Victoria Hudson (Aut) 190-3 (57.99); 7. Liveta Jasiūnaitė (Lit) 188-6 (57.45).