Men's high jump Sergey Klyugin (© Allsport) © Copyright
General News Moscow, Russia

Klyugin's success formula: a shot of cognac

Olympic high jump champion Sergey Klyugin’s says his winning formula is having a drink before the competition.

"Often 50 grams of good cognac before the start can be good for you," the Russian was quoted as saying by Sovietsky Sport newspaper.

In Sydney, Klyugin cleared 2.35 metres - his best jump all season - on his first attempt in pouring rain to beat many top contenders, including world record holder Javier Sotomayor of Cuba and fellow Russian World champion Vyacheslav Voronin.

When asked who was the world's best high jumper this year, Klyugin ranked Sotomayor first, Voronin second and 1996 Olympic champion Charles Austin of the United States third.

"I never dreamed of winning the gold, I was realistic about my chances," he said. "My personal best is 2.36 and this year I was able to clear 2.30 only on three occasions while several of my competitors had jumps at 2.40 or higher."

Reuters for the IAAF