Tokyo previews – Women’s High Jump

Mariya Lasitskene may be appearing under a neutral flag but millions of Russians will be hoping to see her crowned Olympic champion for the first time. To do so she will have to beat a host of challengers all of whom are jumping higher than they ever have before. Here’s our women’s high jump preview for Tokyo.


Thursday 5 August 01:10 UK Time (Qualification) Sautrday 7th August 11:35 UK Time (Final)

2021 Highest Jumps

2021 RankingsHeight (m)AthleteCountry 
12.03Yaroslava MahuchikhUkraine
22.02Vashti CunninghamUSA
32.01Nicola McDermottAustralia
42Nadezhda DubovitskayaKazakhstan
42Mariya LasitskeneRussia Olympic Committee
61.97Svetlana RadzivilUzbekistan
61.97Salome LangSwitzerland
61.97Marija Vuković Montenegro
910 different athletes

British interest

Morgan Lake continues to lead the British charge but is now being hard pushed by another Brit in Emily Borthwick. They have jumped 1.96m (indoors) and 1.93m respectively this year. Lake was sixth in the 2017 World Champs and fourth in the 2018 World Indoors. She will need to jump somewhere around two metres to contend the medals. Both should have final ambitions.

The favourites

Mariya Lasitskene has won the last three consecutive world championships. She was denied the opportunity to compete at Rio due to Russia’s ban but is an authorised neutral athlete this time round. Ruth Batia won that Rio competition for Spain in 1.97m, a height Lasitskene exceeded (2.00m) just weeks before Rio took place. Lasitskene has shown some signs of vulnerability, finished fourth in the Gateshead Diamond league (albeit in terrible conditions) and could only clear 1.80m in Dessau. That said she jumped 2.00m on 14th July in Finland and seems to be rounding into form nicely. At her best she is the fifth best of all time (2.06m).

For the Russian, there is a Ukranian that has announced herself at the most inopportune of times. Yaroslava Mahuchikh is still only nineteen but won silver in Doha behind Lasitskene, jumping 2.04m having just turned eighteen. She won in Stockholm, jumping 2.03m and has only lost once this year in Dessau to her compatriot Iryna Gerashchenko (they both jumped 1.92 but Iryna won on countback).

Second in Stockholm was Nicola McDermott of Australia who will be in contention by virtue of having twice jumped 2 metres or over this year. Stockholm is her sole appearance this year outside Australia and she is undefeated in her home country. Aged twenty-four, this is her first season as a true championship contender.

The greatest gold medal threat outside Europe comes from Vashti Cunningham who has cleared 2.02m this year, won all her competitions and importantly cleared 1.96m on five out of six occassions. Such consistently will put right in the mix. She is the bronze medalist from Doha.

Nadezhda Dubovitskaya hasn’t jumped outside her native Kazakhstan but her 2.00m clearance there puts the twenty-three year old in medal contention. Finally look out for her compatrior Kristina Ovchinnikova (1.96m) who has just turned twenty and Iryna Gerashenko by virtue of the Ukrainian’s Dessau win and 1.99m best.

Our medal predictions

  1. Mariya Lasitskene
  2. Yaroslava Mahuchikh
  3. Vashti Cunningham


WR: 2.09m Stefka Kostadinova (1987)

OR: 2.06m Yelena Slesarenko (2004 Athens)

Featured image “File:Mariya Lasitskene, saut en hauteur, ANA (Russie) (36180454900).jpg” by Samuel Blanck is marked with CC0 1.0

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