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Eleanor Patterson and Nicola Olyslagers have claimed silver and bronze in an emotion-charged women’s high jump in Budapest, lifting Australia to a best-ever medal haul of six at a world athletics championships.
Defending world champ Patterson – who underwent surgery to have a plate inserted in her broken left foot in February – twice bettered her season’s best and moved into the silver-medal position with a first-time clearance at 1.99m.
Ukrainian Yaroslava Mahuchikh won the gold on Sunday (early Monday AEST) as the only jumper to clear 2.01m.
It was an emotional victory for the 21-year-old, who was forced to flee her hometown of Dnipro shortly after the war with Russia began last year. She now trains in Germany. Mahuchikh was the only member of the 29-strong Ukrainian squad in Budapest to win gold.
“I am so proud to win this gold for my country,” she said. “I can’t wait to go back and show this medal to my coach.”
Athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus were banned from the championships due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Olyslagers, 26, got the bronze behind Patterson on countback with a second-time clearance at 1.99m. It was only her second defeat in 11 competitions this year.
The two Australians embraced at the conclusion of the competition.
It was the first time Australia had ever produced two medallists in the one event at a world athletics championships.
Australia finished the nine-day titles in Budapest with a record haul of six medals, bettering the previous high-water mark of four set in Seville in 1999 and equalled in Berlin in 2009.
The sole gold came from Nina Kennedy in the women’s pole vault. On three previous occasions, Australia had won two golds at a world titles.
The only other Australian in action on the final day of the championships was Stewart McSweyn who was 13th in a men’s 5000m final won by Norwegian superstar Jakob Ingebrigtsen in 13 minutes 11.30 seconds.
AUSTRALIAN MEDALLISTS AT THE 2023 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Nina Kennedy – women’s pole vault
Jemima Montag – women’s 20km walk
Eleanor Patterson – women’s high jump
Mackenzie Little – women’s javelin
Kurtis Marschall – men’s pole vault
Nicola Olyslagers – women’s pole vault