Diamond League in Paris: triple victory for Ukrainian high jumpers

Dhis result tableau shines in the colors blue and yellow and even the World Athletics Association (WA) advertises the corresponding winning photos as “Heartwarming moments for Ukraine”, because a triple victory for the athletes from Ukraine was to be acknowledged.

Yaroslava Mahuchich won the women’s high jump in the Diamond League in Paris on Saturday with the new year’s outdoor world record of 2.01 meters. Second place went to Irina Gerashchenko with 1.98. Third place went to Julia Levtschenko, who mastered 1.95. And Kateryna Tabaschnyk followed in sixth place, also 1.95, but more failed attempts. Four Ukrainians who not only belong to the world elite, but dominate the competition – this is an extraordinary result, which would be remarkable even in normal times outside of a state of war.

Above all, the winner, Jaroslava Oleksiivna Mahuchich, has already grown into a national symbol of Ukraine at the age of twenty. The story of the young athlete, who fled the war zone by car for 60 hours in March to travel to the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, where she then won the gold medal with 2.02 meters without serious preparation, is one of the most popular endurance stories. Stories in the nation shattered by Russian war of aggression.

Mahutschich has not returned to Ukraine since then, first training with their supplier Puma in Herzogenaurach and then moving to various training camps in southern Europe to prepare for the highlights of the season from there: the World Cup in Eugene in July and the European Championships in August in Munich. In between, she trundles through the metropolises of the athletics world with her trainer Tatjana Stepanova and wins what there is to win: in the Diamond League, Mahuchich leads after three victories in three competitions with the maximum number of points of 24.

Away from the athletics stadiums, the young athlete has been very defensive since her spectacular victory at the World Indoor Championships and the resulting media interest. Her manager Aivar Karotamm protects her from official media appearances. Mahuchich only wants to speak in public again at the World Cup in America.

Her successes on social media are all the more appreciated. “Let this flag fly not only over the heads of these athletes, but also over all Ukrainian cities,” reads the appeal for the photo of the beaming high jump quartet with a flag on the Yaroslava Mahuchich fansite. Nobody claims anymore that sport is not political.

Leave a Comment