Last year he shared Olympic gold with Gianmarco Tamberi in Tokyo. This time he had the top of the podium to himself in Eugene as he soared to his third consecutive world title. Mutaz Essa Barshim has achieved almost everything in the sport, apart from the world record.

Javier Sotomayor’s long-standing mark of 2.45m remains frustratingly out of reach. Barshim’s best is 2.43m and it’s no secret he would love to gain that record. Maybe it will come one day.

On Monday night at Hayward Field he cleared 2.37m to add to the world titles he won in London in 2017 and Doha in 2019. Doha was undoubtedly his finest moment as he returned from serious injury to win in front of his home crowd, but this week’s victory in the United States still tastes sweet.

“Three world golds in a row is something that has never have been done before,” he said. “I feel like I have a name in our sport, but I have been never felt like the greatest one in the field.”

World indoor champion Woo Sang-hyeok of South Korea took three attempts to get over 2.33m but then cleared 2.35m at the second attempt to take silver as Ukraine’s Andriy Protsenko collected bronze following a 2.33m clearance.

Protsenko, 34, has been a major championship regular since 2009 but this was his first global outdoor medal. It comes at a time, too, when his country is at war with Russia.

He said: “Three months ago I managed to take my family from Ukraine and occupied territory, but I left everything in my home town of Kherson. I took only one bag. That’s all I have. I even don’t have base in Europe.

“Coming back from Eugene I should look for the house where my family will live and for place where I will able to continue my preparation. That is terrible situation.”

As for joint Olympic champion Tamberi, he didn’t look as smooth as usual in qualifying and in the final he failed twice at 2.30m before clearing 2.33m at his second attempt to finish fourth.

Barshim, however, enjoyed first-time clearances up to 2.37m and his one failure of the night was an attempt on a championship record of 2.42m when his victory was already assured.

Source: AW