Olympic qualifier for ‘Mally’
High Jumper Jamal ‘Mally’ Wilson continues to find success in 2016.
The Bahamian high jumper cleared a new personal best of 2.31 meters (m) – 7’ 6-3/4” – on Friday night to win the men’s high jump competition at the Gugli Indoor Meeting in Linz, Austria.
After two scratches, he cleared the mark on a final attempt, finally qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Wilson then moved up to 2.33m (7’ 7-3/4), but failed on all three attempts.
“I feel really good about this one, because of the fact that it’s my official Olympic qualifier, considering the one at home didn’t count,” said Wilson about his performance. The mark here in The Bahamas didn’t count as an Olympic qualifying height because there has to be a minimum of five jumpers in the field for an athlete to qualify.
“Going into the meet
(Friday), I actually felt a bit tired, having to travel around Europe, and being in a new city almost every other day. I just went out and competed and whenever the heights came, I tried my best to jump them. With us not getting the chance to train often on the circuit, I’m looking forward to getting home and getting in some good training so I can stay consistent for the world indoors.”
At last month’s Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) Odd Distance Meet in New Providence, Wilson set a personal best mark of 2.30m (7’ 6-1/2”) outdoors. The height was a centimeter over the Olympic qualifying height of 2.29m (7’ 6”), however, to his dismay, the competition didn’t have the minimum number of jumpers.
Now, Wilson becomes the third Bahamian high jumper to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games, joining Donald Thomas and Trevor Barry. He credits his recent success to a minor tweak in his form.
“It’s all about patience, first and foremost,” he said. “You have to be confident and put in the work. Last season, I had a technical issue that was keeping me from progressing the way I wanted to. It was my positioning at takeoff. I didn’t have a good arch over the bar in previous years. To correct this, I had to fix my plant at takeoff, which gave me a better lift off the ground and a smoother release and position going over the bar. It was a simple problem that I fixed and now I’m reaping the benefits.”
Up next for Wilson is the 16th International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Indoor Championships, from March 17-20, in Portland, Oregon.
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