PARIS 2011 - European Athletics Indoor Championships
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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Women's High Jump

Antionietta Di Martino landed her maiden major championship title to become the first Italian since the great Sara Simeoni some 30 years ago to take this title.

The gold medallist put in a totally dominant performance clearing every height with her first attempt up to and including 1.99m to secure gold before impressing even further by sailing over 2.01m with her second effort. She also became the oldest ever winner of this title at the age of 32 years and 278 days.
Spain’s Ruth Beitia (1.96m) claimed a fourth successive European Indoor high jump medal with silver (she also won silvers in 2005 and 2009 and bronze in 2007) while Ebba Jungmark of Sweden enhanced her personal best by 0.02 to negotiate 1.96m and grab a welcome bronze.
As the European leader with 2.04m Di Martino was the clear favourite for the competition. She was undefeated for the year and victory was rich reward after several seasons of injury and illness issues.
“Yes, there was a lot of pressure,” admitted Di Martino, “but I tried not to think about it. The secret of my success? I guess it’s in my head. I have become a lot more serene. I got married in September 2009 and this gave me a new, different take on life. My family at home must be going crazy with me winning the gold medal.”
The field made very few misjudgements in the early phases of the competition and all eight finalists managed to clear 1.92m – six at the first time of asking. It was the next height of 1.96m, though, that proved critical in determining the three medallists.
Di Martino sailed over 1.96m with the minimum of fuss and Beitia, who had surprisingly dislodged the bar on her first attempt at 1.87m, matched the Italian at the first time of asking. The rest of the field found it a trickier task. European No.2 Svetlana Shkolina of Russia failed with her three attempts at 1.92m and Melanie Melfort of France, Israel’s Danielle Frenkel, Oksana Okuneva of Ukraine and Bulgarian veteran Venelina Veneva-Mateeva suffered the same fate to exit the competition.
Jungmark, however, a former US Collegiate champion found it within herself to clear that height at her third attempt, setting a personal best and guaranteeing herself a medal in the process.
The remainder of the competition, Di Martino apart, was a bit of a disappointment. While the veteran Italian cleared 1.99m with her first effort Beitia and Jungmark both failed with their three attempts at 1.99m with Beita grabbing silver by virtue of her first time clearance at 1.96m
 With the title already in the bag Di Martino, the 2007 World silver medallist, put on an extended show for the crowd and did not disappoint, wriggling over 2.01m at the second time. Her three attempts at 2.03m were beyond her but the Italian would not be denied. 

 

Video for the nomination