Olympic high jump champion Ivan Ukhov produced the best indoor performance in the world for 21 years when he cleared 2.41m at the Yuriy Lukasevich Memorial meeting in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on Thursday (16).
Into the bargain, Ukhov added one centimetre to his own national indoor record, achieved in Athens just under five years ago, and to the Russian absolute record held jointly by himself and Vyacheslav Voronin, who jumped 2.40m outdoors in London back in 2000.
Ukhov jumped 2.15m, 2.23m, 2.32m and 2.36m with his first attempts before getting over his record height on his third attempt, just gently tickling the bar with his heels.
Initially the bar was put up to the world indoor record height of 2.44m but, after a long delay in adjusting the uprights, Ukhov decided that he had done enough for one day and didn’t jump any further.
It has been an exhilarating few days for Ukhov, who also cleared 2.38m in Novocheboksarsk last Saturday.
Andriy Silnov and Yevgeniy Korshunov were second and third respectively with both men going over 2.29m, the 2008 Olympic champion having fewer failures.
There was some outstanding jumping in the women’s event as well as Mariya Kuchina, who turned 21 on Tuesday, gave herself a late birthday present and went over a personal best of 2.00m on her third attempt, the first woman in the world to clear that height this year.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF