The Heptathlon continued after a short break with the High Jump event and with the women separated into two groups with British hopefuls Jessica Ennis and Liverpool’s Katrina Johnson-Thompson making it through in the top elite due to their performances this season.
Although there was disappointment that the third British woman, Louise Hazell, didn’t make the cut with a jump of 1:59, both other Brit hopefuls continued to make great strides in this event. With Canadian Jessica Zelinka also missing the cut, the field was open for both women to push Eliska Klucinova, Hanna Melnychenko and Hyleas Fountain all the way.
As with other events the British weather had a say in the High Jump and after a sparkling early jump, Jessica Ennis was caught out by a sudden downpour which threatened to rain on her parade. Once Jessica and Katrina Johnson-Thompson saw the other competitors take a slight lead, they pulled something extra out of the bag and jumped as if their lives depended upon it.
Germany’s Lilli Schwarzkopf recorded a personal best for the event, the group of women attaining 1:83 was impressive and there was good news with possibly her main rival Chernova failing at 1.80.
Both Briton’s struggled on 1.86 and the collective groans from those inside the purpose built stadium were audible to both women’s ears. The audience willed over Katrina Johnson-Thompson and the applause was soaked up with gratitude by the teenager as she sailed over the bar at 1.86 on the second attempt. Pressure was then put on Jessica Ennis to match the Liverpool athlete’s prowess and with the crowd behind her; she too jumped the target height comfortably on the third attempt. The pressure was then pushed onto the other competitors to dig even deeper to try and overtake the two British women.
In the end it came down to six athletes battling it for the points in the High Jump and the first to go over was Liverpool’s own Katrina whilst Jessica and the American Hyleas Fountain narrowly missed out on the increased height. The three remaining women all failed with their first attempt at the phenomenal height of 1:92 and the crowd were sensing a thrilling end to a smashing morning’s session.
In the end the height was just too much for Katrina Johnson-Thompson but she certainly did Merseyside and the home nations proud with a personal best and a tremendous attitude, one of the athletes of the future to keep a look out for.
In the end and despite valiant attempts by Jessica Ennis and Katrina, the winner of the High Jump was the Lithuanian Austra Skujyte with an impressive 1.92 which shot her up to 4th on the leader board.
Overall leader board after two events:
1st. Jessica Ennis, Great Britain 2249 points
2nd. Hyleas Zelkinka, Canada 2224 points
3rd. Katrina Johnson-Thompson, Great Britain 2146
Ian D. Hall