Nicola McDermott, the Australian high jumper said she knew she was in her best-ever shape at the Tokyo Olympic Games and confirmed that after clearing an area record to finish second in the women’s high jump last week. Click here for the results of the women’s high jump finals in Japan.
McDermott entered the Olympics in red-hot form after using a six competition winning streak to pick up a string of victories during her preparations and twice setting national and Oceanian records when leaping over two meters in Sydney and Stockholm.
The 24-year-old first broke the national and area record when she soared over 2.00m at the Australian Championships in April and then improved at that mark with another personal best of 2.01m to finish second at the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm on July 4.
After taking four jumps to achieve the qualifying mark of 1.95m in Tokyo, McDermott extended that brilliant form in the final before ending the competition with three failures at 2.04m.
Before that, though, the New South Wales native, soared over 2.00m on the first try to equal the area record and then broke her own Oceanian record with another first-time clearance at 2.02m.
Her performance was good enough to earn the silver medal, finishing second to Russia’s Mariya Lasitskene who produced a season’s best of 2.04m to win her first Olympic gold medal. Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh cleared 2.00m for the bronze.
McDermott said after the win that she knew she was in personal best form after clearing two meters.
“In my head, I knew I was in PB form and after the two-meter jumper I rated myself and I knew what I needed to work on for the next jump,” she said in an interview posted by the Australia Olympic Team Youtube channel.
“I knew I had it. And when I got up on the bags, I was very excited and I think I jumped up and down and used up a bit of energy in my celebration.
“But then I went straight to the book because I thought “you got 2.04 in there, stay in the game.”
McDermott became the first Australian woman to win an Olympic medal in the high jump since 1964, also in Tokyo, when Michele Brown cleared 1.80m for a silver medal.