Andrei Churyla of Belarus competes for winning the gold medal on the Men's High Jump Final on the day four of the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships in Barceolona on 13 July 2012 (Getty Images) © Copyright
The pre-event favourites and season’s leaders at 2.28 Belarus’ newly-minted Andrei Churyla and Bahamas’ Ryan Ingraham made the podium as expected but Germany’s Falk Wendrich managed to sandwich between them to take a surprise silver medal after setting two career bests when it really mattered.
Taking a closer look at the contest, when the bar went up to 2.21 four men cleared the height at the first time of asking: Wendrich – to better his PB by one centrimetre - Israel’s Dmitry Kroyter, Russia’s Ilya Ivanyu and Ingraham while Churyla needed a second attempt to get through.
Serious business started at 2.24 where all five contenders still on show failed to clear the bar with their first effort. The second attempt was neither profitable overall as only Churyla was successful.
In the near escape third try both Wendrich and Ingraham were successful but the German was in silver medal position as the Bahamian had a cleared 2.13 which finally would earn him the silver medal.
2.26m proved to be unattainable for the triumvirate still on show at least today, the three of them fouling all their attempts although Ingraham’s last effort came tantalizingly close.
On a statistical note, Wendrich beat the German National Youth record which was held by 1984 Los Angeles Olympic champion Dietmar Moegenburg, actually Wendrich’s long-standing idol. Still 17, the German rising star is still eligible for the next World Juniors in Eugene 2014.
Emeterio Valiente for the IAAF