Russian Ivan Ukhov was the clear winner in the 2012 Olympic high jump final. He hasn’t jumped as well in recent years, but he made some incredible jumps under this year’s Olympic pressure. Ukhov was the only jumper to clear 2.36 meters and 2.38 meters. Not only that, but he cleared those heights on his very first attempts out of the three potential opportunities.
The silver medal went to Erik Kynard, which was not the US jumper expected to medal. The 2011 world champion, Jesse Williams, finished in a surprising ninth place. Kynard didn’t even qualify for the finals in the 2011 world championships. He has now made a name for himself and will likely return in Rio to try for a gold.
The bronze medal presentation was very unconventional; they gave not just a tie, but a three-way tie for third place. Mutaz Barshim of Qatar, Derek Drouin of Canada and Robert Grabarz of Great Britain all get to walk home with Olympic hardware. So often, fans wish one more medal could be awarded due to how close athletes are to one another in modern competition, and this time they got their wish. All three jumpers had the same amount of failed jumps at different heights, which is how tie-breakers are usually determined.
Overall, it was not a very impressive showing for many of the jumpers. Even the ’08 gold medalist, Andrey Silnov of Russia, finished back in 12th place. In the end, it gave way for some unexpected names on the podium. No matter what the conditions may have been, however, these five men have certainly proved worthy of Olympic status.
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(Image courtesy of NBC)