Three-time world and reigning Olympic high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim effortlessly scaled 2.36M to triumph at the Wanda Diamond League Silesia Kamila Skolimowska Memorial meeting in Chorzow, Poland, on Sunday.
The 32-year-old Qatari star claimed the world lead and also broke his own meeting record of 2.35, set in 2016. It was his season’s first Diamond League victory, after finishing third in the season-opener in Doha in May.
Italian Gianmarco Tamberi — with whom Mutaz famously shared Olympic gold at the 2020 Tokyo Games — finished second with a 2.34M clearance on his second attempt. Germany’s Tobias Potye, who also cleared 2.34, had to be satisfied with third place on countback.
Mutaz was unbeatable in Poland, clearing 2.20, 2.24, 2.27, 2.30 and 2.32 all on his first attempts. He failed twice at 2.34, raised the bar to 2.36 and cleared it on his first try.
“For me, it’s still early season as it’s just my second competition. I’m heading back as I’ve been ill over the past month. My jumps were good, but I’m always looking for ways to improve,” he said to the assembled media.
“People look at my jumps and say they were great, but I usually think they were just ok. There’re still things I need to work on. I think I still have a 2.40M jump in me, hopefully this year. It was a great competition, with my rivals pushing me. I always say I’d rather lose in a great competition than win in a bad one,” added Mutaz, whose personal best of 2.43M is second only to Cuban Javier Sotomayor’s best-ever mark of 2.45.
Tamberi was happy with the second place.
“I’m happy about the result, but I’m unhappy that until 2.36M, I struggled with my technique. This was my first competition with my full approach of 11 steps, not counting Stockholm with the rain. I’m in very good shape,” he said.