Katarina Johnson-Thompson in high jump qualifying at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 (AFP/Getty Images) © Copyright
Report London, UK

Report: women's high jump qualification – IAAF World Championships London 2017

It was an unusually substandard showing in this event which cost Katarina Johnson-Thompson a medal in the heptathlon but the Brit made no mistake in qualifying for the individual final on Sunday evening.

Johnson-Thompson needed two attempts at 1.89m but the 24-year-old then went clear at 1.92m on her first attempt, a height which proved sufficient to make the final. She will be joined by teammate Morgan Lake - a former world U20 champion in the heptathlon and high jump - who went clear on her second attempt.

Qualification was a relatively straightforward assignment for the British contingent but Olympic champion Ruth Beitia took a more roundabout route into the final. The Spaniard has made five finals at the World Championships but the veteran only scraped into her sixth with a third-time clearance at 1.92m, just two centimetres below her outdoor season’s best.

While Beitia has competed sparingly this summer due to various injuries, Mirela Demireva has also been struggling with knee and back injuries since winning a silver medal behind Beitia in Rio de Janeiro but the Bulgarian had by far her best competition of the season, producing a season’s best of 1.92m to ensure she will contest the final.

Another jumper returning to form is European indoor champion Airine Palsyte from Lithuania, who added seven centimetres to her outdoor season’s best to progress. Palsyte cleared 2.01m to win the European indoor title in March but since then, the 25-year-old has been sidelined with a pelvis injury which limited her to just two competitions in the build-up.

Unbeaten this season, reigning world champion Maria Lasitskene - who is the only jumper to clear two metres outdoors in 2017 - was one of three athletes to progress through to the final with an unblemished card up to the qualifying height of 1.92m along with Poland’s Kamila Licwinko and recently crowned European U23 champion Yulia Levchenko from Ukraine.

But despite her ascendency on the world lists, Lasitskene isn’t taking anything for granted in the final.

"I'm in a good mood, but to be honest I felt bit sleepy when I did my first attempt and touched the bar. After that I woke up. Now I know it is impossible to repeat that mistake in the final because my rivals are very well prepared for the competition,” she said.

Levchenko’s teammate Oksana Okuneva, who has also cleared 1.97m this season, was one of the noteworthy non-qualifiers.

Steven Mills for the IAAF