ZÜRICH, SWITZERLAND, September 08 — Among jumping and throwing events the PV & SP were contested downtown on the first day of the Weltklasse meet. Here are our reports on the other 5 women’s field events:
Women’s High Jump: Mahuchikh Soars
The winner of 4 of 6 DL meets coming in, Yaroslava Mahuchikh didn’t have to jump particularly high in order to claim the win but did anyway. When all was said and done she had jumped higher than the PRs of everyone else in the field.
The 20-year-old Ukrainian was the only jumper with a perfect record through 6-4¼ (1.94) and although she had an initial miss at 6-5¼ (1.97) she was the only one to clear it, making on second try. She then passed 6-6¾ (2.00) — a height where teammate Iryna Gerashchenko used up the single attempt she had remaining — before moving on to 6-8 (2.03). After a pair of fails she created some big air on her successful third attempt.
Her 3 attempts at an outdoor PR 6-9 (2.06) — she has managed the height indoors — were all decent, but not quite good enough. “It is so cool to win my first Diamond Trophy,” said last year’s runner-up.
1. Yaroslava Mahuchikh (Ukr) 6-8 (2.03) (6-2, 6-4¼, 6-5½ , 6-8 , 6-9 [xxx]) (1.88, 1.94, 1.97 , 2.03 , 2.06 [xxx]); 2. Iryna Herashchenko (Ukr) 6-4¼ (1.94); 3. Nicola Olyslagers (Aus) 6-4¼; 4. Nadezhda Dubovitskaya (Kaz) 6-3¼ (1.91); 5. Elena Vallortigara (Ita) 6-3¼; 6. Yuliya Levchenko (Ukr) 6-2 (1.88).
Women’s Long Jump: Vuleta Defends
Ivana Vuleta knew what it would take to win, and the 32-year-old Serb didn’t hold back: “I had an excellent first jump, I was focused on the 7-meter [22-11¾] line. I knew that 7m would be needed to win.”
The defending champion, as the last jumper in the order, closed out the first round with a big one. The measurement came back at 22-10½ (6.97). Not necessarily a clincher, but only one other woman in the field had ever flown so far, Germany’s Malaika Mihambo. The World and Olympic champion, however, appeared to be struggling. She fouled her first two attempts and passed her third.
Meanwhile, Swede Khaddi Sagnia had moved to 2nd with her 21-6 (6.55). In round 4, Mihambo got her sole mark, a 21-4¾ (6.52) that put her 3rd. Only one of the competitors improved in the final two rounds, and that was American Quanesha Burks, who popped a 21-5½ (6.54) to push Mihambo down a spot.
Vuleta closed with a 21-8¾ (6.62), giving her three marks that would have won. “It was hard. I was just trying to stay focused until today. Today I just confirmed my most successful year with my silver medal from Eugene and my gold medal at the European championships. I am really overwhelmed.”
1. Ivana Vuleta (Ser) 22-10½ (6.97) (22-10½, 21-3½, 22-2¼, f, f, 21-8¾) (6.97, 6.49, 6.76, f, f, 6.62); 2. Khaddi Sagnia (Swe) 21-6 (6.55); 3. Quanesha Burks (US) 21-5½ (6.54); 4. Malaika Mihambo (Ger) 21-4¾ (6.52); 5. Annik Kälin (Swi) 21-4 (6.50); 6. Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (Ukr) 21-4 (6.50); 7. Lorraine Ugen (GB) 20-11¼ (6.38).
Women’s Triple Jump: Another Rojas 50-Footer
The desire to hit one out of the park seems to be a recurrent theme in the jumping of Yulimar Rojas this season. The World and Olympic champion now owns not only the World Record, but also 11 of the 12 farthest jumps ever. Yet one senses that the queen of the event really, really wants a big one, a McLaughlinesque mark that will be out of reach of her competitors for many years to come.
Why else would she seem so disappointed in her second-round leap of 50-1¾ (15.28), a mark that no other human has bettered in the last 8 years? On her following attempts, she kept trying to push her limits, only to be rewarded with three straight fouls. Finally, on her last try, she settled down to produce a mortal 49-2¼ (14.99), a mark that in itself would have sufficed for the win.
Said Rojas, “It was not a great mark, but I am still happy considering it was a long season, full of ups and downs. To win here back-to-back, I am happy… I am over the moon with coming here and reclaiming my title. It was not the mark that I had hoped for, but I am proud of the work I did this year.”
Not to say there wasn’t notable jumping behind the 26-year-old Venezuelan. Maryna Beck-Romanchuk, on the first leg of her same-day horizontal jump double, passed Shanieka Ricketts in round 4 with a 49-1 (14.96). It was the second-best effort of the Ukrainian’s life, after only the 49-3½ (15.02) she produced to win the European title.
Ricketts finished 3rd at 48-8¾ (14.85), with American Tori Franklin in 4th at 48-4¾ (14.75).
1. Yulimar Rojas (Ven) 50-1¾ (15.28) (f, 50-1¾, f, f, f, 49-2¼) (f, 15.28, f, f, f, 14.99); 2. Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (Ukr) 49-1 (14.96); 3. Shanieka Ricketts (Jam) 48-8¾ (14.85); 4. Tori Franklin (US) 48-4¾ (14.75) (x, 7 A) (f, 47-2¼, 48-4 [x, 7 A], f, 48-2, 48-4¾) (f, 14.38, 14.73, f, 14.68, 14.75); 5. Thea LaFond (Dom) 47-9¼ (14.56); 6. Patricia Mamona (Por) 46-8¾ (14.24).
Women’s Discus: Allman Holds Off Perković
The ongoing Valarie Allman vs. Sandra Perković war for women’s discus supremacy featured another compelling battle that didn’t disappoint.
In her first appearance since winning the European title 3 weeks ago, Perković opened with a foul. Allman instantly applied the pressure by debuting at 217-3 (66.23). The Croatian got on the board — and into 2nd — with her second-round 204-3 (62.26) and the American fouled.
Perković crept closer with 212-3 (64.69) in the third stanza, but Allman upped the ante with a solid 222-4 (67.77) response. Round 4 was uneventful, but Perković continued to press in 5, creeping closer with 220-10 (67.31). Allman’s counter-attack of 222-2 (67.73) was just inches off her best. And that’s where the tale ended, neither having a notable last-throw answer.
Noting that the Diamond Trophy was “a bit of consolation” for her WC bronze, Allman said, “Winning here is really beautiful. I have my coach here, I have my mom here. It is incredible, the crowd is so special. The crowd is so involved.”
1. Valarie Allman (US) 222-4 (67.77) (217-3, f, 222-4, 214-3, 222-2, f) (66.23, f, 67.77, 65.30, 67.73, f); 2. Sandra Perković (Cro) 220-10 (67.31) (f, 204-3, 212-3, f, 220-10, 215-0) (f, 62.26, 64.69, f, 67.31, 65.55); 3. Liliana Cá (Por) 207-10 (63.34); 4. Kristin Pudenz (Ger) 201-7 (61.45); 5. Claudine Vita (Ger) 201-3 (61.34); 6. Lagi Tausaga (US) 193-3 (58.90).
Women’s Javelin: Winger’s Late-Season Surge Continues
There’s something to be said for going out on top. Kara Winger wrapped up the last (really?) meet of her life with her first Diamond Trophy, the final celebration in a Cinderella season for the American Recordholder. “I just wanted to have a good time and it turned out to be the best season of my life,” she said.
The WC silver medalist and yearly list leader, throwing last in the order, her mark on the competition early by taking the lead at the end of round 1 with a 201-4 (61.36). In the next round, world champion Kelsey-Lee Barber passed her with a hurl of 209-1 (63.72). The very next throw, Winger snatched the lead back at 209-4 (63.81).
In round 3, the Eugene bronze medalist, Haruka Kitaguchi, got into the mix with her 207-10 (63.35). Then in round 5, Winger put things further out of reach, hitting 213-2 (64.98), the No. 8 U.S. performance ever, then said into the camera, “One more throw.”
Kitaguchi improved to 208-6 (63.56) in the last round, but no one could catch the 36-year-old American. On what probably was the last competitive throw of her life — will she really not use her shiny new Wild Card to next year’s Worlds? — she let loose a 208-4 (63.51) and turned around to accept a bouquet of sunflowers and the trophy.
“There was something special about today,” said Winger. “I felt like the entire stadium was with me. I felt like I had so many friends with me. The season was like — disbelief. I know it was absolutely everything and I am so grateful for what I did because we worked really hard for this and I just cannot believe it. It was magic.”
1. Kara Winger (US) 213-2 (64.98) (x, 8 A) (201-4, 209-4, 206-6, 201-5, 213-2, 208-4) (61.36, 63.81, 62.95, 61.41, 64.98, 63.51);
2. Kelsey-Lee Barber (Aus) 209-1 (63.72); 3. Haruka Kitaguchi (Jpn) 208-6 (63.56); 4. Līna Mūze (Lat) 198-0 (60.35); 5. Barbora Špotáková (CzR) 193-10 (59.08); 6. Liveta Jasiūnaitė (Lit) 189-5 (57.73). ◻︎