McPherson ties for group win, advances to world high jump finals

Published 6:43 pm Thursday, August 10, 2017

Almost a year to the day Inika McPherson made her Olympic high jump debut, the Port Arthur native has taken a step toward her first medal in a major international competition.

McPherson tied Great Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson at 1.92 meters, or 6 feet, 3.59 inches, for first place in Group A of Thursday’s preliminaries at the IAAF World Championships in London. She and 11 other women will jump in Saturday’s championship round at 1:05 p.m. Central, or 7:05 p.m. London time. NBC (KJAC-12.2) will televise the action.

McPherson finished tied for 10th at 1.93 meters in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 20, 2016. She jumped an official personal best of 1.96 last month in Madrid.

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All 12 finalists in London jumped 1.92 Thursday. Both Johnson-Thompson and McPherson missed on their first attempt at 1.89, but neither missed at 1.92, giving them a share of the Group A victory. American Vashti Cunningham and Lithuanian Airine Palsyte missed once at 1.92 and German Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch advanced on her third and final attempt.

Russian Maria Lasitskene, who holds the top height this year of 2.06 (6 feet, 9.1 inches), tied Yuliia Levchenko of Ukraine and Kamila Licwinko of Poland for first in Group B, neither one recording a miss. Mirela Demireva of Bulgaria, Morgan Lake of Great Britain and Michaela Hruba of the Czech Republic each had a miss, and reigning Olympic gold medalist Ruth Beitia of Spain advanced despite two misses.

McPherson made the world team earlier this summer by finishing third for the second straight year in the U.S. championships.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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