21 Oktober, 2019

2019 Rewind - Jumps

  • © IAAFDiamond League

A record for Christian Taylor, a first title for Andriy Protsenko and Shanieka Ricketts, and more dominance from the vertical queens. In the final instalment of our 2019 review, we take a look at how the Diamond Trophy was won in the jumps.

Pole Vault Women

She may have lost her world title at the end of the season in Doha, but Katerina Stefanidi proved she is still the queen of the pole vault as she swept to yet another Diamond Trophy in 2019. 

The Greek star has held the Diamond League title since 2016, and she started her third title defence in style with a victory in Shanghai.

It would be another three months before she recorded another win on the Road To The Final. After Angelica Bengtsson's surprise victory in Rome, Stefanidi's long-time rivals Sandi Morris and Anzhelika Sidorova picked up eight-point hauls in Rabat and London. 

Stefanidi was back to winning ways in Birmingham, and despite a win for Alysha Newman in Paris, it was the Greek who sparkled when it mattered in Brussels, clearing 4.83m to claim a fourth successive Diamond Trophy. 

Pole Vault Men

Having finally ended Renaud Lavillenie's seven-year hegemony of the Diamond League in 2017, Sam Kendricks promptly lost his title to Timur Morgunov the following year, and was determined to reclaim his throne in 2019. 

He started convincingly, winning all of the first three meetings of the season in  Doha, Stockholm and Oslo. 

Come July, however, Kendricks' dominance was suddenly shaken to the core as Piotr Lisek recorded back-to-back meeting and national records in Lausanne and Monaco, twice clearing six metres to join the American at the top of the standings on the Road To The Final. 

Kendricks rose to the challenge, clearing the six-metre mark himself to set a new meeting record in Paris before securing a second career Diamond Trophy in Zurich five days later.

Triple Jump Men

With six titles between 2012 and 2017, American triple jump star Christian Taylor missed the chance to equal Renaud Lavillenie's record seven Diamond Trophies when he was beaten by Pedro Pablo Pichardo in last year's final. 

The double Olympic champion was determined to put that right this year, and he got off the mark with a meeting record of 17.82m in Monaco after Omar Craddock had won the opening competition in Rome. 

Taylor still faced stiff competition in the remaining meets, as Pichardo took eight points in London and his old pal Will Claye leapt a meeting-record busting 18.06m in Paris. 

Taylor is not a six-time winner for nothing, however, and he delivered in the Brussels final, jumping a wind-assisted 17.85m to pick up a seventh Diamond Trophy and finally equal Lavillenie's record. 

Triple Jump Women

If Taylor is the undisputed Diamond League dominator in the men's triple jump, then his equivalent in the women's event has been Caterine Ibargüen. With five of a possible six triple jump titles between 2013 and 2018, and an unprecedented triple and long jump double last season, the Colombian superstar once again went into the season as the favourite for the Diamond Trophy. 

She looked comfortable in the first half of the season, with a world lead and a season's best in Oslo and Lausanne respectively. In Monaco, however, Ibargüen began to struggle, and here Venezuelan rival Yulimar Rojas leapt on the opportunity to take control of the Road To The Final. 

Having won in Monaco, Rojas then cleared the 15-metre mark in Paris to establish herself as a firm favourite for the title. Yet in the end, it was neither the Colombian nor the Venezuelan who got their hands on the trophy, but an athlete from a little further north into the Caribbean. 

Jamaica's Shanieka Ricketts, who had notched up a handful of podium finishes on the Road To The Final, outshone both the favourites in Brussels to mark 14.93m and pick up her first ever Diamond Trophy. 

High Jump Women

Perhaps even more dominant than the likes of Taylor and Ibargüen, Mariya Lasitskene has held the women's high jump in her iron grip ever since her return to the circuit in 2017. 

You can count her Diamond League defeats in the last three years on one finger, let alone one hand, and few expected Lasitskene to put a foot wrong on the Road To The Final this season. 

There were a few raised eyebrows, then, when Ukraine's Yaroslava Mahuchikh picked up the first eight-point haul of the season in Doha, but the challenge to Lasitskene's dominance was short-lived.

The title holder hit back with victory in Stockholm, before clearing the two-metre mark four times in a row as she rampaged to victories in Oslo, Stanford, Lausanne and Monaco. 

She fell a centimetre short of that mark in the Brussels final, but that did not stop her once again wiping the floor with the rest of the field and extending her Diamond League dominance to a third successive season. 

High Jump Men

The men's high jump was, by contrast, one of the most difficult events to pick in 2019. Two-time winner Mutaz Essa Barshim, who would later sensationally sweep to gold at the world championships, was far from his best form, while title-holder Brandon Starc still had only a single Diamond Trophy to his name. 

It was China's Wang Yu who drew first blood with a home win in Shanghai, before veteran Ukrainian Bogdan Bondarenko established himself as the frontrunner with victories in Rome and Rabat.

Majd Eddin Ghazal, Starc and Michael Mason then all recorded victories in the final three meetings of the season, leaving the final in Zurich almost impossible to call.

In the end, it was Bondarenko's compatriot Andriy Protsenko who took the Trophy, despite not having taken a single victory on the Road To The Final. Protsenko jumped the highest winning mark of the season with 2.32m.

Long Jump Men

Following his explosive, wind-assisted exploits in Stockholm last season, Cuba's Juan Miguel Echevarria was the experts' favourite to take a first Diamond Trophy and end the two-year dominance of South Africa's Luvo Manyonga in 2019. 

In the first two meetings of the season, however, neither Manyonga nor Echevarria had much to cheer about, as Tajay Gayle took victory in Shanghai and home boy Thobias Montler delighted the home crowd with a personal best of 8.22m in Stockholm. 

Only in the second half of the season did the two title favourites start firing. Echevarria threw down the gauntlet with wins in Rabat and Lausanne, before Manyonga bettered his mark in both of those meets with a winning 8.37m in London. 

An unflinching Echevarria brushed off the setback in style, setting a new Diamond League record of 8.65m in the Zurich final to ensure that it was he, not Manyonga, who took the Diamond Trophy home in 2019. 

Long Jump Women

 

After her extraordinary Diamond Trophy double in 2018, Caterine Ibargüen started her long jump title defence with a win as she marked a modest 6.76m in Doha. 

Yet in 2019, there was a new kid on the block. Having shown her potential with a European Championship triumph on home soil last year, Germany's Malaika Mihambo grabbed the Road To The Final by the scruff of the neck in 2019, twice clearing the seven-metre mark as she stormed to the top of the standings with wins in Rome and London. 

Hepathlete Nafi Thiam then sprang a surprise in Birmingham, as she claimed victory with a personal best and national record of 6.86m, but there was no stopping Mihambo on her charge for the title. 

Having picked up a personal best and a meeting record herself on the Road To The Final, the German then cleared seven metres for a third time in Brussels to get her hands on the Diamond Trophy for the very first time.