Australian high jumper Nicola McDermott broke her own national record, breaking two meters with a jump that propels her into a serious fight for a medal three weeks before the Tokyo Olympics.
McDermott’s 2.01-meter jump improved her own record by exactly two meters to place second in the Diamond League event in Stockholm behind the 2.03-meter run by Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh, who was the most high jump of the world this year.
The 24-year-old’s 2.01 meters is the third highest jump in the world this year. She has climbed five of the top ten heights this year, which puts her firmly in the medal setting for Tokyo.
Impressively, Commonwealth Games gold medalist Eleanor Patterson finished third in Stockholm. After overcoming injuries during the national season, Patterson’s 1.96-meter jump was his best for the season.
“Today was amazing jumping with Yaroslava and Eleanor and all the women in the high jump. They are amazing, it really lifts me above these heights. Today I didn’t feel 100%, but I knew that didn’t mean that it wasn’t possible to jump two meters. To do this today is a gift, it’s awesome, ”said McDermott.
“I have a good system and a good routine, but I have the faith that allows me to jump much higher than my body is really capable of. I think 2.01 is definitely possible to be in the medals so I aim and train like it’s already sealed and I just believe I can do it.
“Being surrounded by professional athletes is such an encouraging environment and I really failed to compete with the buzz in the atmosphere – it feels like home in a big stadium.”
“To attempt 2.03 meters for the second time now is a dream, I really enjoy the feeling of flying once these heights are above two meters. Over the past few years as I’ve grown my faith in God, it seems my fears and doubts about what I can jump go away, so I don’t see 2.03 as intimidating at all, just a fun challenge to overcome.
McDermott said she was inspired by Patterson and considered it a privilege to compete with her.
“Sending the two tallest women in Australian high jump history to the same Olympics is so special,” she said.
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