Konstadinos Filippidis of Greece was perfect through 5.80 meters (19 feet, ¼ inch) to lead the men’s pole vault field. Malte Mohr almost matched missed Filippidis as the German missed just once – his first try at 5.80 – but that was enough to drop him into the silver medal slot. Jan Kudlicka of the Czech Republic was the third vaulter to clear 5.80 – a personal best in his case – but he did so on his third try, leaving him with the bronze. Kudlicka leapfrogged from fourth to third over Thiago Braz da Silva with his clearance at 5.80. Brazil’s da Silva battled through 5.75/18-10¼ despite three misses out of six attempts, but he missed three more times at 5.80 to drop from medal competition. China’s Xue Changrui had a particularly busy day, accumulating six misses during the first four rounds, before suffering three misses at 5.80, meaning that Xue took 13 jumps on the day to earn his fifth-place slot.
The absence of France’s Renaud Lavillenie hung over the event, as he suffered an injury after breaking the world record just a few weeks before the Championships
Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar scored a mild upset in the men’s high jump final by defeating Russia’s Ivan Ukhov, who had dominated the indoor high jumping season prior to the Championships. Barshim was perfect in his first seven jumps, through 2.38 meters (7 feet, 9¾ inches). A confident Ukhov was unblemished through 2.34/7-8, having passed at two heights, then he passed again at 2.36/7-8¾. But Ukhov missed twice before clearing at 2.38 to fall behind Barshim. Neither man could clear 2.40/7-10½, leaving Barshim with the gold, as well as the Asian indoor world record. Ukraine’s Andriy Protsenko cleared 2.36 and was in silver medal position until Ukhov survived at 2.38, leaving Protsenko with the bronze. American Erik Kynard had just one miss through 2.34 and sat in third at that point, but he dropped to fourth when he missed his first try at 2.36. Kynard then missed twice at 2.38
In the qualification round, Protsenko and Russia’s Daniil Tsyplakov were both perfect, clearing all four heights through 2.28/7-5¾. Ukhov was also perfect, jumping twice and topping out at 2.25/7-4½. He passed at 2.28 but needed no further jumps when the remaining competitors were eliminated. Barshim, meanwhile, hardly looked like an eventual champion when he missed his first try at 2.16/7-1. But he didn’t miss another jump until the final, by which time he’d gone high enough to earn the gold medal.
In a dramatic final attempt in the long jump, Brazilian Mauro da Silva soared 8.28/27-2 and leaped from fifth into first place with a national-record effort. The defending World Indoor champion, da Silva leaped 8.06/26-5¼ on his first try to sit in second place behind Li Jinzhe of China. But da Silva dropped to fifth after two rounds and couldn’t improve on his first attempt until round 6. Li , who led through the first five rounds, had to settle for second at 8.23/27-0, while Sweden’s Michel Torneus was third at 8.21/2-11¼. Russia’s Alexandr Menkov was a surprising fifth at 8.08/26-6. He dropped out after four jumps with an apparent injury.
Poland’s Adrian Strzalkowski was the talk of the qualification round, thrilling the home crowd with an indoor national record jump of 8.18/26-10 to qualify on his first attempt. In the final, however, Strzalkowski didn’t reach 8 meters. Four other jumpers topped the automatic qualifying distance of 8.05/26-4¾, while Menkov was just 1 millimeter behind. The non-qualifiers included 2008 Olympic champion Irving Saladino and American Tyron Stewart, who seemed a very likely finalist after jumping 8.00/26-3 in the first round. Indeed, Stewart passed in the second round but returned in the third after finding his position threatened, but he couldn’t improve and finished ninth, 1 millimeter behind the final qualifying spot.
The triple jump also featured a final-round lead change, as Russia’s Lyukman Adams soared from third place to first in his final attempt. Adams sat in second after two rounds with a leap of 17.21/56-5½, trailing the then-world-leading 17.33/56-10¼ jump of Cuba’s Ernesto Revé. But Revé had to drop out of the competition after injuring his leg in the third round. Pedro Pichardo leaped 17.24/56-6¾ in the sixth round to move into second and set up a potential 1-2 Cuban finish, but Adams, in the event’s last jump, leaped 17.37/56-9¾ to take the gold.
Previously, Marian Oprea of Romania was the only triple jumper to top the automatic qualifying mark of 16.90/55-5¼, leaping 17.02/55-10 on his second try.
More from the 2014 World Indoor Championships: