Global Sports Communications
Asian high jump record holder Mutaz Essa Barshim will launch his 2015 IAAF Diamond League campaign in Shanghai on 17 May, the meeting organisers announced today.
In 2014 it was Barshim who clinched the Diamond Race trophy and US$40,000 winner-takes-all cheque when he cleared a 2.43m at the Brussels Diamond League meeting at the beginning of September.That was the third Asian record of the summer to fall to the 23-year-old world indoor champion, making him the second best jumper of all time after the great Cuban, Javier Sotomayor, whose world record of 2.45m is increasingly under threat.
“Now, I’m the prince of high jump and on the right way to becoming the king,” said Barshim after his Brussels victory.
“I am looking forward to come to Shanghai. I want to give the people of China a perspective of the high jump. Imagine me jumping over basketball player Yao Ming. He is 2.29m tall that means I can jump over him by 14 cm. So please, come and support the movement out there!”
Barshim will take his next step towards the high jump throne at the second Diamond League meeting of the year in Shanghai where he has competed just once before, in 2013. Barshim was victorious that day with 2.33m, but high jump standards have advanced so much over the last two years that he may well need to go higher this time to secure his first Diamond League victory of 2015.
He certainly looks in form to continue where he left off last year. Barshim finished his 2014 campaign by winning gold at the Asian Games in Incheon at the end of September, and has roared back into action during the 2015 indoor season with four wins out of four and two more Asian records.
He topped the world indoor list with 2.41m, some 7cm higher than anyone else in the world this year and good enough to place him equal fourth on the all-time indoor rankings.
Barshim is no stranger to winning in China having claimed his first Asian Games title in Guangzhou in 2010, while he also won gold medals at the last two Asian Indoor Championships held in Hangzhou in 2012 and 2014.
In his career so far, Barshim has broken the Asian record, indoors and out, no fewer than 11 times. No doubt there are more to come, and Shanghai Stadium on 17 May could well be the place.
More star names will be announced for the 2015 Shanghai Diamond League meeting in the next few weeks.
The 2015 Shanghai Diamond League meeting will include 16 events, eight for men (200m, 400m, 1500m, 3000m steeplechase, 110m hurdles, high jump, long jump, discus) and eight for women (100m, 800m, 5000m, 400m hurdles, pole vault, triple jump, shot, javelin).