Birmingham, United Kingdom: Qatar’s high Jump star and world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim had to settle for silver as Danil Lysenko took revenge for the defeat in London last year after a thrilling battle.
The 20-year-old Russian, competing as an authorised neutral athlete, extended his 2018 winning streak to nine by clearing 2.36m to Mutaz’s 2.33m.
Mutaz, the champion in 2014 and last year’s World Athlete of the Year, came into the competition with recent technical difficulties but leapt a world-leading 2.38m at the Asian Indoor Championships in early February.
The 26-year-old two-time Olympic medallist from Qatar had no issues up until 2.36m, yet his best effort came in a tight near-miss on the second attempt.
Lysenko’s Birmingham victory marks his first major international title in an event he only began competing in five years ago.
Enjoying first-time clearances at 2.20m, 2.25m, 2.29m and 2.33m, he needed all three attempts at 2.36m before sailing over on his final chance to deny Mutaz the opportunity of a jump-off contest for gold.
In preparation for that final jump — just one centimetre below his personal best — Lysenko requested silence from the crowd and handled the pressure superbly to produce the first big surprise of the championships.
Germany’s Mateusz Przybylko, who registered a second-time clearance at 2.29m — just a centimetre shy of his lifetime best, took bronze, his first major international championship medal.