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Blanka Vlasic: Dominant High Jumper


Blanka Vlasic: Dominant High Jumper

Blanka Vlasic

Michael Steele/Getty Images
The World Indoor high jump champ in 2008 and World Outdoor winner in 2007, Blanka Vlasic took a 34-meet winning streak into the 2008 Olympics, but had to settle for a silver medal behind Belgium's Tia Hellebaut. Vlasic bounced back in 2009, winning the World Championship, plus her third consecutive World Athletics Final. She also leaped a personal best 2.08 meters (6 feet, 9¾ inches) in August.

Third time is not the charm:

The Beijing Games marked Vlasic’s third Olympic appearance. She was eighth in her qualifying heat as a 16-year-old in 2000. Vlasic qualified for the final in Athens, finishing 11th. She improved but fell short of the gold in '08.

Strong season:

Vlasic won 18 of her 19 outdoor events in 2007 and cleared two meters (6 feet, 6¾ inches) in 17 of those competitions. The European Athletic Association named Vlasic its female European Athlete of the Year for 2007. She is the first Croatian athlete and the first high jumper ever to win the award.

Career highlights:

Vlasic won the World Indoor Championships in 2008 and the World Outdoor Championships in 2007. She also won the 2007 World Athletics Final. She was second in the World Indoor Championships in 2006 and third in 2004. Vlasic also won World Junior Championships in 2000 and ’02.

The stats:

  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 165
  • Birth date: November 8, 1983
  • Hometown: Split, Croatia
  • World Championships: Three


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