After winning the world title in London last week, Qatari superstar Mutaz Essa Barshim set a new meeting record and world lead with a leap of 2.40m to win the men’s high jump contest at the IAAF Diamond League in Birmingham, yesterday.
The sparkling victory consolidated the Diamond League lead for the two-time Qatari Olympic medallist as Barshim went 17 points clear of British opponent Robbie Grabarz with a tally of 40 points from six meetings.
Barshim, who won the world title with a jump of 2.35m in London, started the contest calmly and cleared the 2.20m, 2.24m and 2.28m hurdles with ease. He then cleared the 2.31m on third attempt before returning to his brilliance.
After clearing 2.33m and 2.35m in the first go, the Diamond League leader leaped to a flawless 2.40m to better his own world lead of 2.38 – he recorded at Oslo meeting in June – to win the competition.
“I knew I had that jump in me but I needed that pressure on my shoulders,” Barshim said after his triumph.
“It was a strong competition which really tested me and that made me perform at my best. I love it here; I had the meeting record here from 2014 and I also won in Birmingham last year so it is a lucky place for me.”
“I got so much support from the fans and my fellow competitors which really helped me to perform to my best,” the Qatari superstar added.
“I can jump as high as possible. I don’t want to put any limits on myself. 2.40m was great today and I didn’t want to push it too much a risk injury so I was just sensible.”
Syria’s MajedAldin Ghazal finished on second spot with his best jump of the day of 2.31 while Tom Gale of Great Britain finished third after clearing 2.24m.