26 APR 2014 Report Des Moines, USA

Derek Drouin clears 2.40m at Drake Relays

Canadian high jumper Derek Drouin (Getty Images)Canadian high jumper Derek Drouin (Getty Images) © Copyright

Derek Drouin added his name to the elite club of high jumpers who have cleared 2.40m or better when he scaled that height on his third attempt at the 105th HyVee Drake Relays in Des Moines, USA, on Friday night (25).

The world and Olympic bronze medallist not only improved his own Canadian and Commonwealth record by two centimetres, becoming the 10th man to scale that height outdoors (another five men have done it indoors), he also equalled the area record which has been held by USA's Charles Austin since 1991.

Having started at 2.11m, he cleared all his eight heights before 2.40m – including 2.32m, 2.35m and 2.38m – on his first attempt.

“That is a huge barrier distance, I think, for any elite high jumper. It’s kind of like the first time making two metres, or seven foot.” said Drouin. “2.40m has only been cleared by a handful of people ever, so as a high jumper I think I’ve sort of coined that as my lifetime goal.

“To get it this early, and with hopefully a lot of years in my career left to do it again, that was pretty special.

“I was walking over (to the high jump) with one of the other jumpers and just kind of acknowledged how nice of a day it was, and how we had a really good field, and how I wasn’t about to let such a perfect opportunity to jump high pass me by,” reflected Drouin.

“I’d be pretty upset if I didn’t at least jump something high. I don’t know that I was expecting quite as high as I jumped, but definitely I was hoping for something big.”

In an outstanding competition, the US pair of Erik Kynard and Dusty Jonas both cleared 2.35m and were second and third respectively.

Merritt extends winning streak to nine races

Following on from his win at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Melbourne last month, LaShawn Merritt came out on top of a thrilling 400m, the US sprinter winning in 44.44 and beating Grenada’s Olympic champion Kirani James into second place with 44.60. Dominican Republic’s Luguelin Santos was third with 44.72 and Saudi Arabia’s Yousef Al-Masrahi fourth in 45.02.

Jamaica’s Olympic 110m hurdles bronze medallist Hansle Parchment won over the barriers in 13.14 for an early season world lead. USA’s world champion David Oliver was second in 13.23.

In the men’s 400m hurdles, USA’s world silver medallist Michael Tinsley won with 48.57 and beat Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson into second place with 48.68, with another US hurdler Johnny Dutch third in 49.24.

Kenya’s Hellen Obiri won the 1500m in another early world lead of 4:04.88, ahead of USA’s Moscow 2013 800m bronze medallist Brenda Martinez, who clocked 4:06.96.

Cuba’s Yarisley Silva took the honours in the women’s pole vault with 4.66m.

Phil Minshull for the IAAF