Canada’s Derek Drouin has won high jump gold in Beijing at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, following a jump off against two rivals on the final day of competition.
Home favourite Guowei Zhang of China, defending Ukrainian World Champion Bohdan Bondarenko along with Drouin all had perfect score cards heading into the 2.36 metre mark, where all jumpers in the field failed to clear the bar. Due to their overall performance, Drouin, Zhang and Bondarenko stayed in the competition as all others were eliminated.
In the jump off, Drouin was the only man to clear the 2.34m mark, making him the gold medallist and new World Champion, while Zhang and Bondarenko shared the silver in lieu of no bronze medal being awarded. For Drouin – the only Canadian high jumper to ever hit the 2.40m mark – it has been a highly successful summer as he follows Pan Am Games gold with a world title.
“This is very exciting. It is really beautiful to own this title now,” Drouin told IAAF.org.
“After my victory at the Pan Am Games I did some good meetings, so I knew I was in good shape and this gave me a lot of confidence.”
The Olympic bronze medallist from London 2012, Drouin has now shown he can deliver with repetition at the biggest stage of his sport when it counts. At the previous worlds in Moscow 2013 Drouin followed his Olympic performance with another bronze medal, before finally standing at the highest step on Sunday in Beijing. Last year Drouin, 25, added a Commonwealth Games gold medal to his growing collection of prizes and accolades.
“I hoped to make a medal, but hoping for and making it actually happen are two different things.”
The momentum seemed to be with Zhang, backed by the massive Chinese crowd at the Bird’s Nest. Drouin could only watch as the Chinese jumper tried to clear 2.36m on his final attempt. When the bar fell, the jump off was on at 2.34m.
“I was first on the line-up, that was good to keep the pressure on the field. The line-up gave me a good opportunity. This was definitely a hard competition and I asked for my best.”
Drouin’s was the eighth and last medal for Canada at Beijing 2015, arriving on the final day of competition. It was Canada’s second gold medal, matching the exploits of pole vaulter Shawn Barber. This showing in China over nine days was by far the best World Championships that Athletics Canada has ever enjoyed, bettering its Moscow 2013 medal haul by three. There were no Canadian world titles won in Moscow.
Canada’s Beijing 2015 medals