The men’s high jump had been billed as one of the focal points of this weekend in Marrakech and it certainly proved to be the top field event on Saturday.
Five men still remained in the competition as the bar was raised to 2.34m.
After everyone failed at the first time of asking, Russia’s Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov, representing Europe, seized the initiative by being the only one to go over with his second attempt, scraping over and leaving the bar gentling oscillating but it stayed up.
Having both had technical problems, Qatar’s in-form Mutaz Essa Barshim and Ukraine’s Bogdan Bondarenko, representing Asia-Pacific and Europe respectively, both had soaring clearances – Barshim’s being at least 10cm above the bar – with their third tries at this height while Canada’s Derek Drouin and USA’s Erik Kynard, the Americas pair, departed after their third failure to finish fourth and fifth.
At 2.37m, Bondarenko took control of the contest with another comfortable clearance on his first attempt, noticeably speeding up on his approach. And although that proved to be the winning jump, there was still an element of drama as Ukhov retired after two failures and Barshim had one failure when his torso was well clear only to nudge off the bar with his heels.
Bondarenko had three attempts at what would have been a European and African all-comers' record of 2.43m but none were particularly close.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF