Piotr Nurowski Prize winner Ukrainian Yaroslava Mahuchikh inspires Europe with high jump gold
Ukrainian star Yaroslava Mahuchikh inspired athletes and fans across Europe by winning gold at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. The 20 year-old high jumper’s outstanding performance was made even more special by her preparation for the event, which included being forced to flee the country.
Mahuchikh is a rising star of European sport, having won European gold in 2021, World Championships silver in 2019, and Olympic bronze last year in Tokyo. Mahuchikh’s potential was clear to see from a young age. At just 15, she won the high jump event at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) Győr 2017, with a clearance of 1.89m. Two years later, her remarkable progress in the sport earnt her the EOC’s prestigious Piotr Nurowski Prize “Best European Young Athlete” 2019 award.
Speaking to the world’s media after her victory, an emotional Mahuchikh said, “It was very important for me, my family, my country. I don’t think about competition, training. For me, coming here was difficult, three days by car, and to jump here was so difficult psychologically because my heart remains in my country. It’s so difficult but I think I’ve done very well for my country because I protect my country on the track. I think it’s a very important thing for my country.”
The EOC extends its sincere congratulations to Yaroslava Mahuchikh and thanks her for continuing to inspire the European Olympic family five years on from her unforgettable EYOF performance in Győr, Hungary; a performance that signalled future stardom.