The leading medal contenders all breezed through a routine qualification session as the 13 women who cleared 1.92m all advanced to the final on Thursday morning. The automatic qualifying height was 1.94m but the referees made the wise decision not to prolong the contest just to eliminate one woman.
Anna Chicherova, the 2011 world and London 2012 Olympic Games champion, was one of eight women in qualification to boast a perfect record and the statuesque Russian will take her place in a record-equalling (to match the feat of USA’s Amy Acuff) seventh IAAF World Championship final.
Two-time former world champion Blanka Vlasic also enjoyed a perfect morning meaning the vastly experienced Croatian’s dream of an unprecedented third world title is still on track.
Chicherova’s compatriot, the joint world indoor champion Maria Kuchina, also advanced without incident as did Spain’s 2012 and 2014 European champion Ruth Beitia, the 2013 joint bronze medallist.
Poland’s Kamila Licwinko, the joint 2014 world indoor champion with Kuchina, will have been frustrated to have dislodged the bar with her first attempt at 1.89m but bounced back from the mild irritation to rectify the mistake and then clear 1.92m at the first time of asking.
Interestingly, for the first time in world championships history, the Caribbean island of St Lucia qualified two athletes for a final in the shape of Levern Spencer and Jeanelle Scheper.
A couple of disappointed non-qualifiers included Sweden’s Erika Kinsey and British record holder Isobel Pooley, both of whom have cleared 1.97m this season, but today could only achieve a best of 1.89m.
Another statistic of note is that 41-year-old Venelina Veneva-Mateeva of Bulgaria made a record breaking ninth World Championship appearance here in Beijing. She made her debut appearance in the 1991 Tokyo edition, before 10 of her rivals in the qualifiers were even born.
She leapt a best of 1.85m on Thursday but will play no further part in the competition.
US champion Chaunte Lowe, the 2005 world silver medallist and North American record holder, made an early exit after failing to clear her opening height of 1.80m.
Steve Landells for the IAAF