London 2017: Grabarz going for high jump medal
PUBLISHED: 18:29 11 August 2017
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Olympic bronze medalist wants more silverware
It’s medal or bust for Newham & Essex Beagles Robbie Grabarz on Sunday as the London 2012 high jump bronze medalist targets more silverware in the London Stadium.
It took a third-attempt clearance of the automatic qualification mark to assure Grabarz of his place in the World Championship final, but having been one of just six men to clear 2.31m, he is feeling confident ahead of the weekend.
Grabarz admitted that all did not go quite to plan in qualifying, though, as he struggled to calm himself in front of a vocal home crowd.
“I’ll be happy with a medal, that’s it, it’s what I’m here for, anything else and I’ll be gutted,” said the 29-year-old.
“I just wanted to get that height. It was more of a mind battle, I made that a battle for myself and dealing with that crowd.
“It’s going to be bigger, it’s going to be more exciting in the final.
“I was too excited today, I ran too fast at the beginning, didn’t control it enough and nearly made a terrible mess of it.
“But getting over that height sends a message to the other guys, as not too many of us did.
“You don’t get many opportunities to come to a major champs in a home stadium - and never again in this stadium.
“I’m getting old now so I have to make the most of it now and I don’t have a world champs medal so I really want that.”
Grabarz cleared 2.22m and 2.26m first time, but only cleared 2.29m on his second attempt before going down to the wire with his final effort at the automatic qualifying height.
As it happened, he still would have qualified without that final success, and he is now hoping to use his experience of five years ago to drive him to another medal on Sunday.
“I haven’t forgotten that experience of 2012, but you arrive every time in a slightly different place in your mind and body so you have to adapt,” he added.
“To go out there in front of a crowd screaming my name, it’s so exciting and really doesn’t happen that often, so I just have to keep calm and jump higher in the final.
“It’s not been the greatest season so far, but it’s coming together. I definitely get a lift from being back here, and I know what’s going to come on Sunday so I’ve got to keep a lid on it and use it positively.
“That final round of qualification is high jump, that’s what I’ve spent most of my life learning to do. Make a mistake and use two more chances to rectify it. It’s what makes it exciting and a challenge.”
*You can help the next generation of young British athletes by getting involved in SportsAid Week this September with London 2012 hero Greg Rutherford MBE.
Find out more about how you can support the week of fun and fundraising by visiting www.sportsaid.org.uk/sportsaidweek.