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3 Feb, 2021 11:15

Ukrainian teen sensation Mahuchikh clears the bar at 2.06m, threatening to dethrone Maria Lasitskene in women’s high jump

Ukrainian teen sensation Mahuchikh clears the bar at 2.06m, threatening to dethrone Maria Lasitskene in women’s high jump

Ukrainian high-jump prodigy Yaroslava Mahuchikh delivered a stellar performance at an indoor meeting in Banska Bystrica, in Slovakia, with a world-leading result of 2m 6cm, overtaking the mark set by Russia’s Maria Lasitskene.

The Ukrainian talent made the headlines on Tuesday, after beating her former personal best, which not only brought her victory in the competition, but also made her one of the contenders to fight for Olympic gold in Tokyo this summer.

The 19-year-old’s jump was just 2cm short of the indoor world record of 2.08m, set by the Swede Kajsa Bergqvist in 2006.

Mahuchikh shot to fame in 2017, when she won the junior world championships, establishing herself as one of the most talented jumpers of her generation.

The following year, she scooped gold at the Youth Olympics, before sensationally finishing second at her maiden senior world competition, finishing behind Russian star Lasitskene.

The battle for the Olympic crown is expected to unfold between the two stars, with Mahuchikh drastically increasing her chances to take the upper hand after improving her personal record by two centimeters and beating Lasitskene’s indoor personal-best result by one centimeter.

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The Russian athlete, who is the only high jumper to take three world titles, was forced to take a lengthy hiatus from competition after the World Athletics was suspended, giving neutral status to Russian competitors, following a doping row.

In 2019, Lasitskene confirmed her status as the world’s strongest high jumper by winning her third title in a row, with a result of 2.04m. Now, having a tough opponent snapping at her heels, the Russian high-jumping queen will need to apply maximum effort so as not to lose her leading position at the Tokyo Games, where she dreams to perform.