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2008 Olympic Games Beijing - Men's High jump



Host City: Beijing, China Format: Top 12 and ties and all those clearing 2.32 metres advanced to the final.
Date Started: August 17, 2008  
Date Finished: August 19, 2008  
(Competitors: 40; Countries: 28; Finalists: 12)  
    Venue(s): Beijing National Stadium, Beijing
Overview by IAAF    2008_olympic_stadium.jpg
The qualifying height was 2.32, but only eight jumpers cleared 2.29, so a further four men with good countback at 2.25 were included. When the bar reached 2.32 in the final, only reigning champion Holm and Silnov had a perfect record. Both men went over 2.32 first time, but were preceded by the surprising Mason, a Jamaican transfer to Britain. He astounded onlookers by being the first over 2.34, and after Holm missed once, the Briton was joined by Silnov and Rybakov with first time clearances at 2.34. Silnov cleared 2.36 first time, and none of the others could get over that height, Holm, Spank and Bába all making desperation efforts at 2.36 without a 2.34 clearance. Silnov, the European Champion, had placed fourth in the Russian Championships, and was not initially selected for Beijing, but a 2.37 leap in London a week later convinced the Russian selectors to include him at the expense of Andrey Tereshin.
Summary by      
The automatic qualifying height of 2.29 (7-6) proved difficult and took out the 2007 World Champion Donald Thomas (BAH) and bronze medalist Kyriakos Iannou (CYP). The 2004 Olympic champion, Sweden's Stefan Holm, was back but had had a difficult year with injuries. In the final, Russia's Andrey Silnov was a comfortable winner, clearing six consecutive heights on his first attempt, finishing with 2.36 (7-8¾). He tried 2.42 (7-11¼) and had two close misses but could not get over the bar. Britain's Germaine Mason and Yaroslav Rybakov (RUS) both cleared 2.34 (7-8) on their first attempt, with Mason winning the silver medal based on fewer misses at lower heights. Holm placed fourth. For the first time ever at the Olympics, save 1980, no American jumper made the final. Silnov had not actually qualified for the Russian team at the Russian Olympic Trials, placing fourth, but his post-Trials performances led to his being placed on the team, in lieu of Andrey Tereshin, who had placed third at the Trials.


Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.

World record Cuba Javier Sotomayor (CUB) 2.45 m Salamanca, Spain 27 July 1993
Olympic record  Charles Austin (USA) 2.39 m Atlanta, United States 27 July 1996

No new world or Olympic records were set for this event.


The men's high jump at the 2008 Olympic Games took place on 17–19 August at the Beijing Olympic Stadium.

The qualifying standards were 2.30 m (7.55 ft) (A standard) and 2.27 m (7.45 ft) (B standard).

Notably, reigning world champion Donald Thomas, who cleared 2.32 metres in Osaka 2007, finished only in twenty-first place, but failed to advance into the final round.

Men's High Jump - FINAL


Standing 1.96m tall, Andrey Silnov was literally head and shoulders above his opponents tonight as he completed a faultless competition up to 2.36m to win the men’s High Jump Olympic title. And to think he hadn’t even been selected by his National Olympic Committee!

The surprise European champion in Gothenburg 2006, Silnov had only managed fourth on count-back at the Russian national championships and as such had not been included in the team of three which would participate in the Olympic Games in Beijing.

However, he went on to set a personal best and world season lead 2.38m less than a week later in London, a performance backed by a 2.33m win in Monaco, which prompted selectors to make a very late change in the entry lists.

After what felt like a magic night, Silnov’s victory was never in doubt. Opening at 2.20m and deciding to take all the heights he had first time clearances at 2.25m, 2.29m, 2.32m and 2.34m before a jaw dropping clearance at 2.36m, a height which he cleared with massive daylight.

“This is a great moment in my life,” said Silnov. “And I want to say ‘Olympics, I love you.’ I was cheered up by Yelena’s (Isinbayeva) gold. Tonight I tried my best. It felt easy, there was not much pressure.”

Jamaican born Germaine Mason of Great Britain and Yaroslav Rybakov of Russia were the only other two capable of mastering 2.34m on the night with silver going to the former World junior champion whose British citizenship was granted in 2006.

One who left with a bitter taste was defending Olympic champion Stefan Holm whose 2.32m first round clearance was only good enough for fourth, a repeat of his showing at the Sydney Olympic Games.

With nine still in contention when the bar was raised at 2.29m, the only three to fail were team-mates Tom Parsons, Martyn Bernard and Mason. Bernard and Mason elected to save the remaining attempts for the next height while Parsons failed his remaining two to become the fourth athlete to exit the competition.

Mason’s gamble paid off: his 2.32m clearance was a clear one after his foul at 2.29m had been oh-so-close. He bounced back on the mat turned towards the crowd and literally asked them to make more noise. The show was on.

Bernard was the next one out as his own gamble failed to pay dividends. More tactics were to be played, namely by the Czech pair of Tomas Janku and Jaroslav Baba as both failed first time at 2.32m. Janku knocked the bar with his heel; Baba knocked with his shoulder.

The defending bronze medallist, Baba took a try at 2.34m, a bad one, and then an even worse attempt at 2.36m ending in sixth, one better than European silver medallist Janku who failed twice at 2.34m.

Meanwhile, Holm and Silnov kept sharing the leading position which they secured right from the start both sailing over 2.32m with impressive ease. Mason was standing in third.

There would be two more sailing over 2.32m. First over was 20-year-old German champion Raul-Roland Spank whose third round clearance improved his personal best by 2 centimetres. He celebrated as if he had won it! In fact he ended fifth.

Former World Indoor champion Rybakov was facing a crossroad after two near misses at 2.32m but the experienced 27-year-old who won no fewer than six World Championships silver medals (indoors and outdoors) remained in the mix for a medal with a neat third attempt.

As the bar was raised at 2.34m, seven were still in contention: five had cleared, 2 had passed.

The medals would be decided in the following few minutes. First up was Mason: he cleared and set the crowd on fire again. Holm was next up: he failed badly as the pressure started to mount.  Rybakov’s turn: he cleared easy leapfrogging from fourth to second, a position he would hold for just a few minutes as his more fancied compatriot was next to jump. Silnov went over; it was simply a beautiful clearance.

When the bar was raised at 2.36m, Holm was facing a dead sentence having no choice but to sail over if he wanted to step on the Olympic podium for the second time around. He only had two chances. After a bad miss, his second attempt was so close the Swedish World Indoor champion will probably replay it in his head for years to come.

His body went over, his legs went over but the very tip of his heel didn’t. The bar stumbled and eventually fell. The Swedish camp in the stands was already celebrating only to be shell shocked seconds later.

Neither Mason nor Rybakov had what it took to clear 2.36m tonight and the title was officially Silnov’s. He took a bow towards the spectators area so as to thank the 91,000 spectators for their support before asking for the bar to be raised at a would be Olympic record 2.42m
He came very close with his first try but then fatigue took its toll and Silnov aborted the last two jumps.

While the medallists were celebrating, Holm sat on a chair, his head looking ahead at the bar which he was unable to master.

“It’s a fierce competition. I had to jump 2.36m to beat the others. I was a bit stressed out,” said Holm. “I felt really good all the time. I was really close, but it wasn’t meant to be tonight.”

Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF
High jump Men     Final 19 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 2.36     Andrey Silnov Russia RUS 9 Sep 84  
2 2.34     Germaine Mason Great Britain GBR 20 Jan 83  
3 2.34     Yaroslav Rybakov Russia RUS 22 Nov 80  
4 2.32     Stefan Holm Sweden SWE 25 May 76  
5 2.32     Raúl Spank Germany GER 13 Jul 88  
6 2.29     Jaroslav Bába Czech Republic CZE 2 Sep 84  
7 2.29     Tomáš Janků Czech Republic CZE 27 Dec 74  
8 2.25     Tom Parsons Great Britain GBR 5 May 84  
9 2.25     Martyn Bernard Great Britain GBR 15 Dec 84  
10 2.20     Filippo Campioli Italy ITA 21 Feb 82  
10 2.20     Jessé de Lima Brazil BRA 16 Feb 81  
12 2.20     Rožle Prezelj Slovenia SLO 26 Sep 79  

Men's High Jump - qualification


The IAAF Technical Delegates had set the standard very high in the men’s High Jump in an effort not to face a potential final with more than the required 12 jumpers and indeed their move proved right.

2.32m, a height only seven men have cleared so far this year, was required to automatically advance to Tuesday’s final but the bar never even reached that height.

With only eight sailing over 2.29m the four remaining qualifying positions were going to be split among the 12 who had cleared the next best height 2.25m. Those who had gone over at their second and third try didn’t stand a chance, and even a first time clearance didn’t prove enough!

The USA’s Andra Manson was the unlucky guy, as he paid the high price for his first round miss at 2.15m and 2.20m. Indeed the last to make it through was Great Britain’s Tom Parsons who cleared 2.25m first time and 2.20m second time, like Mason, but he only needed one go at 2.15m and that is what saved him.

Ironically he was only the third best Brit this evening as compatriots Martyn Bernard and Germaine Mason both made the cut with 2.29m clearances while Manson was the best of the Americans as neither him nor team-mates Jesse Williams and Dusty Jonas, the third best in the world this year, qualified.

Others to qualify at 2.25m included World championships silver medallist Yaroslav Rybakov, Filippo Campioni of Italy and Rozle Prezelj who completed a superb night for Slovenia after the nation’s gold in the men’s hammer and a national record in the women’s triple.

Of the seven athletes who had gone over the qualifying standard 2.32m earlier this season, only three will actually compete in the final. Defending Olympic champion Stefan Holm and World leader Andrey Silnov had identical contests tonight, both failing first time at 2.29m but both largely clearing the second time around. The third man was Rybakov who had three failures at 2.29m but his clean sheet before that was enough for the night.

Those three are expected to fight it hard and it could well be that Charles Austin Olympic record 2.39m may be in jeopardy.

Top three qualifiers with a clean sheet included the two Czechs, Jaroslav Baba and Tomas Janku and Brazil’s Jesse de Lima. Germany’s Raul-Roland Spank completes the list of finalists as some top guns failed to rise to the occasion.

First in line was World champion Donald Thomas who had three appalling failures at 2.25m. The Bahamian winner of the IAAF Newcomer of the Year award last year never recovered his best shape after an ankle injury meant he couldn’t train properly for most of the pre-summer season.

Thomas was one of two medallists from last year’s World Championships final not to qualify as bronze medal winner Kyriakos Ioannou of Cyprus failed three times at 2.29m, and once at each of the three heights he attempted previously.

The two-time African champion Kabelo Kgosiemang was a shadow of the athlete who set a 2.34m Botswana national record in early May, his best of the night being a third time clearance at 2.20m.

Former World champion Vyacheslav Voronin, former European champion Dragutin Topic, Sweden’s number two Linus Thornblad and France’s Mickael Hanany , seventh in the world this year, were among the notorious non qualifiers.

The first casualty of the evening was former World Youth and Junior champion Haiqiang Huang who had set an incredible 2.32m two years ago when the World age category championships were held here in Beijing. At the time Huang was regarded as China’s next big chance of an Olympic medal in the men’s High Jump but the 20-year-old had only recorded 2.10m earlier this year and despite the loud roar of the full capacity crowd when he failed his third attempt at the opening 2.10m, his elimination was somewhat expected.

Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF
High jump Men     Qualification 17 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 2.29   Q Jaroslav Bába Czech Republic CZE 2 Sep 84  
1 2.29   Q Jessé de Lima Brazil BRA 16 Feb 81  
1 2.29   Q Tomáš Janků Czech Republic CZE 27 Dec 74  
1 2.29   Q Germaine Mason Great Britain GBR 20 Jan 83  
5 2.29   Q Raúl Spank Germany GER 13 Jul 88  
6 2.29   Q Martyn Bernard Great Britain GBR 15 Dec 84  
6 2.29   Q Stefan Holm Sweden SWE 25 May 76  
6 2.29   Q Andrey Silnov Russia RUS 9 Sep 84  
9 2.25   Q Filippo Campioli Italy ITA 21 Feb 82  
9 2.25   Q Rožle Prezelj Slovenia SLO 26 Sep 79  
9 2.25   Q Yaroslav Rybakov Russia RUS 22 Nov 80  
12 2.25   Q Tom Parsons Great Britain GBR 5 May 84  
13 2.25     Andra Manson United States USA 30 Apr 84  
14 2.25     Andrea Bettinelli Italy ITA 6 Oct 78  
14 2.25     Mickaël Hanany France FRA 25 Mar 83  
14 2.25     Vyacheslav Voronin Russia RUS 5 Apr 74  
17 2.25     Dragutin Topić Serbia SRB 12 Mar 71  
18 2.25     Kyriakos Ioannou Cyprus CYP 26 Jul 84  
19 2.25     Michael Mason Canada CAN 30 Sep 86  
19 2.25     Jesse Williams United States USA 27 Dec 83  
21 2.20     Dmytro Demyanyuk Ukraine UKR 30 Jun 83  
21 2.20     Niki Palli Israel ISR 28 May 87  
21 2.20     Donald Thomas Bahamas BAH 1 Jul 84  
24 2.20     Michał Bieniek Poland POL 17 May 84  
24 2.20     Majed El Dein Ghazal Syria SYR 21 Apr 87 NR
26 2.20     Dusty Jonas United States USA 19 Apr 86  
26 2.20     Linus Thörnblad Sweden SWE 6 Mar 85  
28 2.20     James Grayman Antigua and Barbuda ANT 11 Oct 85  
29 2.20     Javier Bermejo Spain ESP 23 Dec 78  
29 2.20     Kabelo Kgosiemang Botswana BOT 7 Jan 86  
29 2.20     Alessandro Talotti Italy ITA 7 Oct 80  
32 2.20     Lee Hup Wei Malaysia MAS 5 May 87  
33 2.15     Peter Horák Slovakia SVK 7 Dec 83  
33 2.15     Yuriy Krymarenko Ukraine UKR 11 Aug 83  
33 2.15     Gerardo Martínez Mexico MEX 9 Mar 79  
36 2.15     Naoyuki Daigo Japan JPN 18 Jan 81  
37 2.10     Konstadínos Baniótis Greece GRE 6 Nov 86  
37 2.10     Sergey Zasimovich Kazakhstan KAZ 11 Mar 86  
39 2.10     Oleksandr Nartov Ukraine UKR 21 May 88  
  NH     Huang Haiqiang China CHN 8 Feb 88  
Detailed View

Qualifying round

Qualification Criteria: Qualifying Performance 2.32 (Q) or at least 12 best performers (q) advance to the Final.

Rank Group Athlete Nationality 2.10 2.15 2.20 2.25 2.29 Result Notes
1 A Jaroslav Bába Czech Republic - o o o o 2.29 q
1 B Jessé de Lima Brazil - o o o o 2.29 q
1 B Tomáš Janků Czech Republic o o o o o 2.29 q
1 A Germaine Mason Great Britain - o o o o 2.29 q
5 A Raúl Spank Germany - o o xo o 2.29 q
6 B Martyn Bernard Great Britain - o o o xo 2.29 q
6 A Stefan Holm Sweden - o o o xo 2.29 q
6 B Andrey Silnov Russia - o o o xo 2.29 q
9 B Filippo Campioli Italy o o o o xxx 2.25 q
9 A Rožle Prezelj Slovenia - o o o xxx 2.25 q
9 A Yaroslav Rybakov Russia - o o o xxx 2.25 q
12 B Tom Parsons Great Britain - o xo o xxx 2.25 q
13 A Andra Manson United States - xo xo o xxx 2.25  
14 A Andrea Bettinelli Italy - o o xo xxx 2.25  
14 A Mickael Hanany France o o o xo xxx 2.25  
14 A Vyacheslav Voronin Russia - o o xo xxx 2.25  
17 A Dragutin Topić Serbia - o xo xo xxx 2.25  
18 B Kyriakos Ioannou Cyprus - xo xo xo xxx 2.25  
19 B Michael Mason Canada - o o xxo xxx 2.25  
19 B Jesse Williams United States - o o xxo xxx 2.25  
21 B Dmytro Demyanyuk Ukraine o o o xxx   2.20  
21 A Niki Palli Israel o o o xxx   2.20  
21 A Donald Thomas Bahamas - o o xxx   2.20  
24 A Michał Bieniek Poland - xo o xxx   2.20  
24 A Majed Aldin Gazal Syria o xo o xxx   2.20 =NR
26 A Dusty Jonas United States o o xo xxx   2.20  
26 B Linus Thörnblad Sweden - o xo xxx   2.20  
28 B James Grayman Antigua and Barbuda xo xxo xo xxx   2.20  
29 B Javier Bermejo Spain o o xxo xxx   2.20  
29 B Kabelo Kgosiemang Botswana - o xxo xxx   2.20  
29 B Alessandro Talotti Italy o o xxo xxx   2.20  
32 B Lee Hup Wei Malaysia o xo xxo xxx   2.20  
33 A Peter Horák Slovakia o xo xxx     2.15  
33 B Yuriy Krymarenko Ukraine o xo xxx     2.15  
33 A Gerardo Martínez Mexico o xo xxx     2.15  
36 B Naoyuki Daigo Japan xxo xxo xxx     2.15  
37 A Konstadínos Baniótis Greece xo xxx       2.10  
37 B Sergey Zasimovich Kazakhstan xo xxx       2.10  
39 A Oleksandr Nartov Ukraine xxo xxx       2.10  
  B Huang Haiqiang China xxx         NM  


The final was held on August 19.

Rank Athlete Nationality 2.15 2.20 2.25 2.29 2.32 2.34 2.36 2.42 Result Notes
1st Andrey Silnov Russia o o o o o o xxx 2.36  
2nd Germaine Mason Great Britain o o x– o o xxx   2.34 PB
3rd Yaroslav Rybakov Russia o o o xxo o xxx   2.34 SB
4 Stefan Holm Sweden o o o o x– xx   2.32  
5 Raúl Spank Germany o o o o xxo xx– x   2.32 PB
6 Jaroslav Bába Czech Republic o o o o x– x– x   2.29  
7 Tomáš Janků Czech Republic o o o xo x– xx     2.29  
8 Tom Parsons Great Britain o o o xxx         2.25  
9 Martyn Bernard Great Britain o o xo x– xx       2.25  
10 Jessé de Lima Brazil o o xxx           2.20  
10 Filippo Campioli Italy o xxx           2.20  
12 Rožle Prezelj Slovenia o xxo xxx           2.20  




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