By Sports Reporter/Doha
Less than 100 days from the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, Qatari high jump star and World champion Mutaz Essa Barshim is back from his ankle injury to do what he knows best — winning.
At the Sopot Grand Prix in Poland yesterday, Barshim, who had been sidelined due to an ankle injury from a little less than a year ago, cleared 2.27m for a victory. He even made attempts at 2.30m and 2.33m but 2.27m seemed like a good enough mark to send warning bells ringing.
Malaysia’s Nauraj Singh Randhawa finished second with a 2.24m effort, while Vadym Kravchuk of Ukraine was third after clearing 2.21m.
“I just want to give thanks to God, my family and friends, everyone who believed in me (sic),” Barshim posted on his Instagram account yesterday.
“Been to really difficult times and to be honest I was not sure if I was ever going to be able to jump again but I believe everything happens for a reason.”
After hinting about having his book published in the post, Barshim added, “2019 officially starts... Happy with that start now back to work #Doha2019.”
Barshim was forced out of action in July last year when he injured his ankle while making an attempt at breaking the world record. With the win already in the bag with a 2.40m effort at the Gyulai Memorial in Szekesfehervar, Hungary, the 2017 World Athlete of the Year had the bar raised to what would have been a world record of 2.46m.
When he landed on the mat on his second try, it was clutching his left ankle. While the star thought he had suffered a fracture, it eventually turned out to be a torn ligament that forced him out of action for the rest of the season. He only returned to training in April this year, ahead of the Asian Athletics Championships, a test event for September’s IAAF World Athletics Championships, at Doha’s Khalifa International Stadium.
He had told Gulf Times then, “I really wanted to do it because the (Asian) championships were being held at home. Luckily I have bigger championships at home coming soon, so I said to myself, ‘You know what, sometimes that’s how sport is’.
“I have just come back from an injury, and I don’t want to do something that will cost me the World Championships later. So I want to make sure that I am a 100 percent fit.”
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