By Mitch Phillips
EUGENE, Ore. (Reuters) -Australian Eleanor Patterson picked the perfect time to produce her lifetime best leap as she equalled the Oceania record of 2.02 metres to win a surprise World Championship high jump gold on Tuesday.
Patterson failed twice at 1.98 metres, once at her previous best of 2.00 but cleared 2.02 at the first attempt, lifting her from fourth place to first.
As her rivals then faltered it proved enough to earn her gold on countback ahead of Ukrainian favourite Yaroslava Mahuchikh, who needed two tries to get over the same height before both athletes failed to clear 2.04 metres.
Italy’s Elena Vallortigara was error-free up to 2.00 metres and though she could not go any further she took bronze on countback from Ukraine’s Iryna Gerashchenko
“It’s crazy, 2.02, I don’t know what happened,” Patterson said. “So many girls went two metres it was a phenomenal performance from everyone. I’m so thrilled to clear 2.02. I’m so proud of myself and my team.”
Olympic and triple world champion Mariya Lasitskene was absent because of the ban on Russian athletes in Eugene.
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Christian Schmollinger)