11 MAR 2006 General News

Women's High Jump Qualification

In the absence of Sweden’s World Indoor record holder, Kajsa Bergqvist, Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic led the qualifiers, going clear at 1.96m without difficulty along with Belgium’s Tia Hellebaut. But with only one failure on her score-card at 1.90, the Croat filled the top spot while the Belgian need three tries at the lower height.

“The surface is quick and I like that,” said Vlasic. “I had some problems with marking my approach which is why I had difficulties with my run-up and came too close to the bar.”

Third was Spain’s Ruth Beitia, national record holder indoors and out, who had a clean progression through the heights until she wobbled at 1.96, needing a second try.

Russian World Indoor and Olympic champion, Yelena Slesarenko, needed two attempts at both 1.93 and 1.96.to succeed. The final two going through to the final by right were Russian number two and former national champion, Yekaterina Savchenko, with a season’s best 1.96 and the Ukraine’s Vita Styopina.

Italy’s Antonietta Di Martino and the USA’s Chaunte Howard, World outdoor silver, make up the final eight.

MB