RIO DE JANEIRO, August 20, 2016 (Hina) – Croatian athlete Blanka Vlašić has won a bronze medal in High Jump at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro by clearing 1,97 meters.
Under painkillers, visibly limping and almost on the verge of her strength, Blanka made quite a feat by winning bronze after she has won silver at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Gold medal went to Spain's Ruth Beitia with 1,97 meters in her first attempt, as well as the second-ranked Bulgarian Mirela Demireva.
Blanka has thus round up the Croatian Olympic story in Rio de Janeiro in a great way by winning the tenth medal - another bronze after five gold and three silver medals.
Ana Šimić, the other Croatian high jumper, did not make it to the finals.
Blanka became the seventh athlete to win - since 1928 when the women's high jump entered the Olympic program - two medals. So far only Iolanda Balas (two gold medals), Ulrike Meyfarth (two gold medals), Sara Simeoni (gold and silver), Stefka Kostadinova (gold and silver), Hestrie Cloete (two silver) and Anna Chicherova (gold and bronze) managed to do that before her.
For Blanka, this was her fourth Olympic performance. In Sydney, as a 16-year-old, she finished 17th with cleared 1,92 meters. In Athens in 2004, she made it to the 11th place by clearing 1,89 meters, and four years later in Beijing, she was second with brilliant 2,05 meters. Arriving to China as a World Champion from Osaka, she cleared 2,05 meters. However, this was not enough for gold. The same height, but from fewer attempts has been cleared by the Belgian Tia Hellenbaut. Blanka is the only high-jumper in the history of Olympics to clear 2,05 meters and fail to win gold. Then she missed the London Olympics due to the injury. Unfortunately, she hasn’t come completely healthy to Rio de Janeiro, but still she has won a medal.
In the finals there were as many as 17 female athletes. They were successful at the initial 1,88 meters, but six of them failed in their first attempt including our Blanka. However, five girls failed to clear 1,93 meters. At 1,97 meters, Blanka failed again in her first attempt, but managed to clear it in her second attempt. This height was cleared by only three more girls, Ruth Beitia of Spain, Mirela Demireva of Bulgaria and Chaunte Lowe of the USA. As the bar was raised to the next height, two meters, Blanka was holding the third position behind the leading Spanish athlete and the second-ranked Bulgarian. Since none of them was able to go over two meters, the ranking remained the same.
1. Ruth Beitia (ESP) 197
2. Mirela Demireva (BUL) 197
3. BLANKA VLAŠIĆ (CRO) 197
4. Chaunte Lowe (USA) 197
5. Alessia Trost (ITA) 193
6. Levern Spencer (LCA) 193
7. Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch (GER) 193
7. Sofie Skoog (SWE) 193
9. Kamila Licwinko (POL) 193
10. Morgan Lake (GBR) 193
10. Inika McPherson (USA) 193
10. Irina Geraščenko (UKR) 193
13. Vashti Cunningham (USA) 188
13. Svetlana Radzivil (UZB) 188
13. Airine Palsite (LIT) 188
16. Desiree Rossit (ITA) 188
17. Alyxandria Treasure (CAN) 188