World Championship in Assen (Netherlands)
September 2nd - 10th, 2006
On September 2nd the opening ceremony of the World Championship in athletics for disabled was held. It was a great honor for me to carry the Austrian flag. Five of my teammates joined me, the others were watching from the audience.
behind me from left to right:
team manager Sepp Loisinger
physiotherapist Margrita Fürnsinn
Robert Mayer, who won the bronze medal over 400 m in class T 44 (below-knee amputees)
Andreas Gratt, bronze-medalist in javelin of class F 54
high jump :
rank name nation height medal 1. Hou Bin CHN 1 m 76 cm gold 2. Dennis Wliszczak AUT 1 m 65 cm silver 3. Marcel Jaroslawski BUL 1 m 65 cm bronze 4. Heinrich Popow GER 1 m 65 cm 5. Hristo Gerganski GRE 1 m 39 cm
height 156 159 162 165 168 result O O O O XXX
The high jump event took placeon September 6th in the afternoon. Even though there were only five competitors it would become an extremely interesting struggle for the medals.
Hristo Gerganski from Bulgaria made the first attempt of the competition. He cleared 1.39 m. Unfortunately that was his only valid jump. At 1.50 he failed three times. Heinrich Popow from Germany and Marcel Jaroslawski from Poland entered the competition at 1.50 and 1.53. Finally I made my first attempt too, at 1.56 m. The struggle for silver and bronze had started. There was no doubt that none of us had any chance to beat Hou Bin, the three-time paralympic champion from China.
At 1.59 m Heinrich Popow touched the bar the first time. At 1.62 m both of my opponents had a failure. Heinrich cleared the height in his second attempt. Marcel was extremely lucky in his third jump, when the bar almost fell down but after three seconds of shaking Marcel stayed in the battle. I cleared all my heights in my first attempts, at 1.65 m as well. Marcel had a valid second attempt this time. But he was lucky again, when he touched the bar with the front of his thigh. Heinrich had a massive effort in his final jump over 1.65 and joined us at 1.68 m..
The only competitor to clear 1.68 m was Hou Bin. It seemed all to easy for the chinese athlete. After a pretty good first attempt I was not able to get over the bar any more. Up to that height I had a perfect sheet. That's why I won silver in front of Marcel and Heinrich. Hou Bin continued at 1.71 m, cleared 1.76 in his first attempt and finally failed at 1.80 m. He was extremely dominant during the whole competition. But his best days are over, in Atlanta 1996 he cleared 1.92 m. Since 2002 no athlete jumped 1.80 or higher.
On Paralympic TV there is a coverage of 35 minutes including the high jump event up to the height of 1.68 m: watch the video
The video also shows Thomas Geierspichler winning the silver medal over 800 m in class T 52.