Making his eagerly awaited 2018 debut, Mutaz Essa Barshim topped a world-leading 2.38m in the high jump to highlight the opening day of the 8th Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Tehran on Thursday (1).
After opening at 2.15m, Barshim topped 2.20m to wrap up the competition before forging on with another first attempt clearance at 2.23m. Continuing what turned out to be an exhibition, he had the bar raised to 2.30m, a height which required a second try before he sailed clear.
He then added first attempt clearances at 2.33m, 2.36m and 2.38m before bowing out with three tries at 2.40m. All things considered, the 2017 World athlete of the year was pleased.
"It was my first competition and I didn't know what to expect," Barshim said. "I just said 'I'm jumping, let's see what's going to happen’. So I'm really happy. It's my best opening ever, a championship record and a world lead. I can't complain."
Hassan Taftian delivered the day's other highlight with a convincing victory in the men's 60m.
The 24-year-old Iranian, last year's Asian 100m champion, dominated the race with his 6.51 run, knocking 0.04 from the national record he set last September in Ashgabat.
Tosin Ogunode of Qatar was second in 6.63 with Elakkiyadasan Kanadasan of India taking bronze in 6.67.
On the women's side of the programme, Irina Ektova of Kazakhtan won the triple jump with 13.79m. Nadiya Dusanova of Uzbekistan won the high jump with a leap of 1.87m. On the track, Wang Chunyu of China won a tactical 800m contest in 2:09.30.
Bob Ramsak (with assistance from Rahul Pawar) for the IAAF