London 2012: Beagles star Grabarz leaps to bronze

Another medal for team GB as Newham star wins high jump bronze

Newham & Essex Beagles’ high jumper Robbie Grabarz grabbed a bronze medal in the Olympic Stadium, but he may have missed a glorious opportunity to do even better.

The 24-year-old European Champion eased past his first two heights of 2.25 metres and 2.29m without any problems, but when the bar was raised to 2.33m it proved troublesome for Grabarz and much of the rest of the field in the cold and wet conditions.

Reigning Olympic champion Andrey Silnov and highly-rated American Jesse Williams had already gone out at earlier heights and 2.33m found a lot more casualties.

Erik Kynard of the United States and Russia’s Ivan Ukhov both cleared it at the first attempt, but as others fell by the wayside, the Beagle, whose personal best is 2.36m came so close with his first two attempts.

It was not to be for the Brit though. His third and final attempt was perhaps the weakest of the three, but with all but two failing at the height and Grabarz having negotiated his first two jumps first time, it was he who picked up the bronze medal alongside Derek Drouin of Canada and Mutaz Barshim of Qatar who also managed 2.29m.

Ukhov cleared at 2.36m and then 2.38m to secure the gold medal, with Kynard having to settle for bronze after three failures at 2.38m.

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After completing a lap of honour, Grabarz confessed just how delighted he was to finish third.

“I got a medal, I’m over the moon,” said Grabarz, who lost his lottery funding two years ago after some disappointing performances.

“I’m kind of disappointed it was only a bronze, but if someone had said to me a year ago that I would be at London 2012 and I would win a medal, I would certainly have taken that.”