Barshim soars to high jump gold to delight home crowd

Athletics – World Athletics Championships – Doha 2019 – Men’s High Jump Final – Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar – October 4, 2019 Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim celebrates winning gold REUTERS/Dylan Martinez   –   Copyright  DYLAN MARTINEZ(Reuters)

By Steve Keating

DOHA (Reuters) – Lifted by a packed stadium, Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim soared to victory in the men’s high jump at the world championships on Friday to give the hosts a long-awaited first gold medal.

With the crowd at Khalifa Stadium on their feet for every jump, Barshim delivered the performance they demanded by clearing 2.37 meters on his first attempt before watching on as his rivals failed to match his effort.

Two Russians, who are in Qatar competing as neutral athletes, completed the podium with Mikhail Akimenko taking the silver and Ilya Ivanyuk the bronze.

Barshim became the first man to successfully defend the world high jump crown.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)