Alessia Trost of Italy competes for winning the gold medal on the Women's High Jump Final on day six of the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona on 15 July 2012 (Getty Images) © Copyright
While the Italian seemed a safe bet for the podium having cleared no less than 5 times 1.90 or higher this season (2 indoors, 3 outdoors) Kuchina entered the Worlds also with five 1.90+ appearances but all of them set indoors capped by a 1.96 jump but she held a relatively modest 1.89 outdoors.
However, that showdown had a surprise guest in the guise of Seychelles’ Lissa Labiche.
Eventually Trost bagged the gold medal thanks to a 1.91m second-time clearance while Labiche took silver ahead of Kuchina and Germany’s Alexandra Plaza; the three athletes went over 1.88 but Labiche prevailed by virtue of a cleaner card at the height as she cleared it at the first time of asking while the Russian and the German needed all their three attempts.
A previous mistake at 1.85 cost the German the medal in favour of Kuchina.
Taking a closer look to the contest, Trost had to survive a near escape at 1.82 as she only cleared the bar on her third try while Kuchina went clear at the first time of asking. In addition to the two favourites six more athletes went through the height: Dior Delophont, Labiche, Ukraine’s Iryna Herashchenko Saint Lucia’s Jeanelle Scheper and the German duo of Plaza and Melina Brenner.
1.85 only produced one casualty, Scheper, while Trost, Labiche, Kuchina and Delophont cleared on their first attempt, Plaza on her second and Brenner plus Heraschenko had a near escape.
When the bar was raised to 1.88 only Labiche was successful at the first time and she improved her PB by two centimetres in the process. Kuchina, Trost and Plaza had to wait until the very last attempt to finally survive in the contest, the German equaling her career best.
The only additional clearance today was signed by Trost who went over 1.91 at the second time of asking while her three rivals failed their three respective attempts.
Today’s World title for Trost comes after the bronze medal her fellow Italian Elena Vallortigara took in Moncton two years ago.
Emeterio Valiente for the IAAF