Anna Chicherova in the womens High Jump Final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Beijing, China

Preview: women’s high jump – IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015

Experience versus youth will provide a fascinating back drop to what could prove an absorbing high jump competition inside the Bird’s Nest Stadium.

Leading the former category is 33-year-old world leader Anna Chicherova, who appears to have hit top form just at the right time. After a slow start to the season, the Russian veteran cleared her best jump since landing the 2012 Olympic title with a successful 2.03m en route to victory in Lausanne last month.

Chicherova is also the only woman in the world to clear 2.00m or higher on more than one occasion this year, so the Russian champion is strongly tipped to become the first woman since world record-holder Stefka Kostadinova to regain this title.

Also representing the older brigade is the indefatigable Spaniard Ruth Beitia, who even at the advanced age of 36 appears to be jumping as well as at any stage of her lengthy and distinguished career.  The European champion leapt 2.00m to win in Rome and is sure to pose a threat in what will be her seventh straight World Championships.

Two-time world champion Blanka Vlasic is another who, at the age of 31, dwarves the experience of many of her opponents. The Croatian showed signs of returning to her best with successive 1.97m clearances before injury derailed her plans of a competitive July. She does, however, plan to compete in the Bird’s Nest Stadium, the scene of her silver medal performance at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Representing the younger generation is joint world indoor champion Maria Kuchina. The 22-year-old Russian cleared 2.00m to win in Monaco and having also secured an eye-catching success at the European Team Championships, she will be a serious danger.

Kamila Licwinko, the woman who shared the gold medal with Kuchina at last year’s World Indoor Championships, was a regular over 2.00m during the indoor season. Although her 2015 outdoor best is 1.98m, do not be surprised to see the Pole in the mix.

Other emerging names to keep an eye on are Isobel Pooley, who captured the British record with a 1.97m clearance in Birmingham, and 2007 European junior champion Erika Kinsey of Sweden who matched that height at the European Team Championships.

Leading the teenage charge will be Australia’s Commonwealth champion Eleanor Patterson, backed up by Great Britain’s world and European junior champion Morgan Lake.

Also keen to make an impact will be Germany's Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch, Croatia's 2014 European bronze medallist Ana Simic and recently-crowned World University Games champion Airine Palsyte, of Lithuania.

Steve Landells for the IAAF