Kimberley Jess found just 1.86m enough to win the World junior high jump title and claim Germany’s third gold medal of the championships on only the third day.
Jess was one of four athletes to go clear at that height, which was the lowest winning mark in the history of the competition. However, the 16-year-old enjoyed a perfect record to that height whereas eventual silver medallist Mirela Demireva of Bulgaria had one crucial failure at 1.82m.
Jess, who was only eighth at last year’s World Youth Championships could afford to be two centimetres off her personal best in a low-heighting final and was surprised at the standard of the competition.
“I expected a medal of some colour, but not gold,” said Jess, who describes Olympic champion Kajsa Bergqvist as her idol. “I thought it would take 1.90m to win.”
European junior bronze medallist Demireva was happy after failing to qualify at the World Junior Championships two years ago. “I came very close to 1.89m,” she said.
Belgium’s Hannelore Desmet was also pleased with her PB performance, having started 2008 with a best outdoors of 1.82m.
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Paul Halford for the IAAF