Qatari wins gold, Syrian bronze in high jump world championship

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Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim won gold after winning silver and bronze at the last two Olympics, while Syrian Majd Eddin Ghazal won his country's first ever world championship medal

Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim celebrates winning gold in the final of the men's high jump athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 13, 2017 (AFP)
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Monday 14 August 2017 7:38 UTC
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Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim secured the global high jump title his talent has promised for so long when he completed a faultless series in the World Championships on Sunday, culminating in a winning leap of 2.35 metres.

The Qatari, whose 2.43m best is the second-highest in history after Cuban Javier Sotomayor's 2.45 set 24 years ago, has won silver and bronze at the last two Olympics and silver in the 2013 World Championships.

But he was a class apart on Sunday, having qualified without a fail he went through the final never looking remotely close to dislodging the bar as he flexed his body into biology-defying shapes.

With the gold secured he went agonisingly close to clearing 2.40 but there was no disappointment and the 26-year-old can target a crack at the world record on home soil when Doha hosts the next World Championships in 2019.

Russian Danil Lysenko, competing as a neutral athlete, took silver with 2.32m while Majd Eddin Ghazal of Syria had the best record of three men who cleared 2.29 to take bronze - his country's first world championship medal for a man.

"My first big world championships gold and I was so determined to win it," Barshim said. "I was expecting it tonight so I am glad I managed to fulfil my target.

"Let's say, I was recovering last year. I did not want to put too much pressure on myself but now I am back in shape and feel I can go even higher. I do not want to retire one day with the feeling that there is still something left."

Another Qatari athlete, Abdalelah Haroun also won a bronze medal in the men 400m race at the championships.