Australians make history at World Championships in Athletics with stunning double effort on top of record medal haul
- Nation wins silver and bronze in women’s high jump
- Follows Nina Kennedy’s pole vault gold
- Australians set two new records for their country
Eleanor Patterson and Nicola Olyslagers won silver and bronze in an emotionally charged women’s high jump in Budapest, taking Australia to a best haul of six medals at the world athletics championships.
Defending world champion Patterson – who underwent surgery to have a plate inserted into her broken left foot in February – twice broke her season record and climbed to silver with a first clearance at 1.99 m.
Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh won the gold medal on Sunday (early Monday AEST) as the only female jumper to clear 2.01m.
Eleanor Patterson (left) and Nicola Olyslagers (right) broke new ground for Australia by winning silver and bronze respectively in the women’s high jump.
Australia had never produced two medalists in the same event at the World Championships in Athletics before the duo’s success in Budapest.
It is an emotional victory for the 21-year-old, who was forced to flee her hometown of Dnipro soon after the war with Russia began last year.
She now trains in Germany.
Mahuchikh was the only member of the 29-strong Ukrainian team to win gold in Budapest.
“I am so proud to win this gold medal for my country,” she said.
“I can’t wait to go back and show my coach that medal.”
Athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus have been banned from the championships due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Olyslagers, 26, a silver medalist at the Tokyo Olympics, secured the bronze medal behind Patterson on the countdown with a second clearance at 1.99m.
It was only his second defeat in 11 competitions this year.
Olyslagers were in fine form heading into the championships, having only been beaten once this year before securing third place in the final.
Patterson gave fans a taste of how she motivates herself by finishing second behind Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh.
The two Australians kissed after the competition.
It was the first time Australia had produced two medalists in a single event at the world championships in athletics.
Australia finished the titles in nine days in Budapest with a record six medals, surpassing the previous record of four set in Seville in 1999 and equaled in Berlin in 2009.
The only gold came from Nina Kennedy in the women’s pole vault.
On three previous occasions, Australia had won two gold medals at world titles.
The only other Australian in action on the final day of the championships was Stewart McSweyn, who finished 13th in the men’s 5000m final won by Norwegian superstar Jakob Ingebrigtsen in 13 minutes 11.30 seconds.
AUSTRALIAN MEDALS AT THE 2023 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Gold: Nina Kennedy – women’s pole vault
Silver: Jemima Montag – 20 km walk women; Eleanor Patterson – women’s high jumper
Bronze: Mackenzie Little – women’s javelin; Kurtis Marschall – men’s pole vault; Nicola Olyslagers – women’s pole vault