Michaela Hruba wins the high jump at the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016 (© Getty Images)
Ukraine’s Yuliya Levchenko led the 2016 world outdoor U20 list with a 1.95m clearance but world U18 champion Michaela Hruba, who already boasts sizeable experience at senior level, produced one of her best jumps of the summer campaign to claim her second global title in as many years.
Hruba cleared five successive heights between 1.74m and 1.89m on her first attempts to maintain her ascendency over the 13 finalists but the 18-year-old put the title beyond the reach of her opponents by clearing 1.91m on her second attempt.
The Czech cleared 1.95m this winter – and had some good attempts at 1.98m during the indoor season – but that height proved just beyond the capacity of the 2014 world U20 silver medallist on this occasion.
“I thought the competition would be difficult because Levchenko has jumped very high this year,” said Hruba, who has been selected to represent the Czech Republic at the Olympic Games next month. “The qualifying was a bit hard but in the final today, everything was perfect.”
Mexico had previously claimed five medals in World U20 Championships history – all in the men’s 10,000m race walk – but Ximena Lizbeth Esquivel added to their medal haul by clearing 1.89m to claim silver.
“I did expect a medal, but to be honest, I expected a bronze one,” said Esquivel. “It means a lot to me and shows that Mexico can also do something in the field events.”
Levchenko took bronze on countback with a 1.86m clearance but she didn’t display any disappointment with her performance.
“This is the biggest success of my career,” she said. “I didn’t really expect a medal.”
Steven Mills for the IAAF