INDEPENDENT NEWS

Kerr All Set To Soar At Innovative What Gravity Challenge

Published: Wed 8 May 2024 09:49 AM
World Indoor champion Hamish Kerr (Photo supplied)
World Indoor champion Hamish Kerr is all set to compete alongside a star-studded high jump field at a majestic venue in the What Gravity Challenge in Doha on Friday morning (NZT).
The special one-off high jump spectacle has been organised by Qatar high jump legend Mutaz Barshim, the reigning Olympic champion and three-time world champion, and will take place at the sumptuous Katara Amphitheatre.
Kerr has been invited along with 11 other of the world’s finest high jumpers which includes a trio of 2.40m plus jumpers and the reigning world and Olympic champions.
However, despite the undoubted quality on show, given his recent ret hot form the 27-year-old Kiwi has nothing to fear from the opposition and will be seeking to maintain his excellent streak of results and pursue a first prize of $15,000USD (almost $25,000 NZ dollars).
Winning the World Indoor title in Glasgow with a world leading jump and national record of 2.36m represented a huge breakthrough performance by the Christchurch-based jumper, who last month further cemented his status within the high jumping world by defeating Barshim to win the Suzhou Diamond League with a clearance of 2.31m.
Barshim, the all-time world number two with a best of 2.43m, will look to avenge that defeat in front of a passionate home crowd, who will be desperate to see the Qatari claim top spot.
Also entered is the reigning joint holder of the Olympic title – alongside Barshim - and current world champion Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy who competes in his first competition of the year.
JuVaughn Harrison of the US, a 2.36m jumper like Kerr, and world silver medallist from last year is also entered as is Korean Sanghyeok Woo, a former world indoor champion who in Glasgow in March secured a World Indoor bronze medal.
The experienced Ukrainian duo of Andrei Protsenko, the 2022 World Championships bronze medallist and 2013 World champion Bohdan Bondarenko, both 2.40m jumpers at their best, are also entered.
An excited Kerr said: “It is an amazing event to be a part of and outside of a major championship you are not likely to see a more stacked field. It is credit to Barshim and his legacy that he has managed to put together such a quality event, which heralds a new era for our sport. Taking what is quite a traditional concept and putting it in a unique setting is a fantastic way to showcase high jump and our unique skillset.
“Hopefully the event will be well received by the public and the spectators watching. I’m super privileged to be here, but also fired up to put in a massive performance.”

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