Brandon Starc in the high jump at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Ostrava, Czech Republic

Preview: men's high jump – IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018

Asia-Pacific will be looking for maximum points from Brandon Starc who arrives in Ostrava riding the best momentum of any high jumper on the planet.

The 24-year-old Australian has illustrated impressive longevity this season, winning the Commonwealth title with a then-PB of 2.32m in April, then improving to 2.33m in Birmingham less than one month ago, and going higher still in Eberstadt on 26 August where he topped 2.36m to equal the Area record set by Tim Forsyth back in 1997.

Starc, who last weekend he won the IAAF Diamond League final with 2.33m in Brussels, recently received a message from Forsyth, wishing him the best of luck in breaking the national record outright in Ostrava.

On paper, though, the field is evenly matched.

Starc will be backed up by world bronze medallist Majd Eddin Ghazal of Syria, who has cleared 2.33m this season. 

The Americas team is represented by Bryan McBride of the US, who improved to 2.35m early in the season, and Bahamian Donald Thomas, the 2007 world champion who has cleared 2.32m this year.

Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus, at 20 the youngest in the field, heads the European team after his surprise silver medal finish at the continental championships where he equalled his 2.32m personal best. More recently he scaled 2.30m at Berlin's ISTAF last Sunday. He'll be joined by authorised neutral athlete Ilya Ivanyuk, the European bronze medallist, who topped 2.31m in Berlin last month.

African hopes lie with Mathew Sawe of Kenya, of improved to 2.30m to take the African title in Asaba last month.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF