DOHA, Oct 1: Mariya Lasitskene completed a superb hat-trick of high jump titles at the World Championships in Doha.
The 26-year-old, who is one of only 30 Russian athletes allowed to compete in Doha under the Authorised Neutral Athletes banner, took gold ahead of Ukraine�s Yaroslava Mahuchikh on Monday.
Lasitskene, the 2015 and 2017 champion, claimed victory after clearing a height of 2.04m to win on countback ahead of Mahuchikh.
Vashti Cunningham of the United States took bronze.
�Today I really struggled for every jump,� Lasitskene said.
�It was like in a fairytale to get a third world title. My whole country expected me to be on the podium. I had to cope with this pressure.�
The win marked another career milestone for Lasitskene, who has dominated international high-jumping in recent years.
Lasitskene was barred from the 2016 Olympics after Russia was banned from the games over the country�s doping scandal.
But Lasitskene has since been allowed to compete as a neutral athlete, a status handed to athletes who are deemed to be above suspicion by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
She will now chase a first ever gold medal at next year�s Tokyo Olympics, where she may have to compete as a neutral athlete once more if Russia�s ban from international athletics remains in place.
�Today I just want to enjoy to the full,� Lasitskene said.
�Of course I�m preparing for the Olympics, and this is part of the process. I really hope everything will be okay and I will jump in 2020.� � AFP