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Ukrainian high jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh wins silver medal

Ukrainian high jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh wins silver medal

Posted July. 21, 2022 07:52,   

Updated July. 21, 2022 07:52


Ukrainian high jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh covered her face with her hands on a mat after failing her third attempt at 2.04 meters in the final of the women's high jump at the World Athletics Championships held at the Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Wednesday. The audience sighed in disappointment. Her attempt to bring a gold medal for Ukraine under the attack of Russia ended with a silver medal. Mahuchikh who cleared 2.02 meters on her second try had to give away the first place to Eleanor Patterson of Australia who cleared the same height in the first attempt.

However, as Mahuchikh said she wanted to keep participating in international competitions to show that Ukraine is still here, her jumps garnered global attention. She wore yellow and blue, the symbolic colors of Ukraine, whenever she competed as a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance. At the World Athletics Championships, she also wore her eyeliner and nails in yellow and blue.

Mahuchikh has not returned home since she crossed the border in May to attend the World Indoor Championships held in Belgrade, Serbia, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Dnipro in eastern Ukraine where she is from is still dangerous. In the meanwhile, she trained in Turkey and Germany. She won the World Indoor Championships by clearing 2.02 meters immediately after traveling three days in a car to evacuate.

As athletes of Russia and Belarus were banned from competing at the recent by World Athletics and Maria Lasitskene of Russia lost her chance to win for the fourth consecutive time, Mahuchikh’s chance of a win was high. However, as Patterson set a personal best jump and joint-Australia record, Mahuchikh failed to earn a gold medal. “Lasitskene said she could not compete because she is Russia while people in Ukraine are dying because they are Ukrainian,” said the Ukrainian high jumper when Lasitskene objected to the World Athletics’ decision.

Andriy Protsenko of Ukraine who also evacuated from the war-hit country and competed at the event won bronze in the men's high jump on Tuesday. The event was attended by 22 Ukrainian athletes.

Bo-Mi Im bom@donga.com