Deirdre Ryan started out confidently today in group A of the women’s Olympic High Jump qualification competition – clearing 1.80 metres at her first attempt and then 1.85m on a second attempt, before then failing to clear 1.90m on three occasions.
Ryan received terrific support from spectator crowd in the Olympic Stadium as the announcer introduced her on each of her high jump attempts.
“It was like a home crowd,” a clearly disappointed Ryan said. “Everyone was clapping and the atmosphere was incredible. It just wasn’t there today. I had a couple of good jumps over 1.90m that were close. I’ve been struggling all season, just technically.”
“I’ve been so up and down. I’ve jumped 1.83m on many occasions, and I nailed a 1.90m performance once this year. It just hasn’t been a smooth season, but I thought on the day I could bring it out. It’s also been a troublesome two weeks with a back injury . I didn’t feel it today, the medical team were fantastic and they have been treating me twice a day. When I warmed up I couldn’t feel anything, so it’s no excuse really.”
“I struggled to find my rhythm. Although I feel I am fit, I can’t technically get the rhythm in the last few strides and I’m not able to hit the take-off. My first jumps were terrible. My second jump at 1.85m was very good and my last attempt at 1.90m was better than any of my 1.80m jumps.”
“The support has been incredible. It makes a little bit hard now because I feel I’ve disappointed everyone. All my friends and family have been behind me and I’ve been able to prepare really well for the year full-time because I had Sports Council funding and sponsors and everything.”
Ryan’s 1.85m jump placed her 27th place overall from the A and B qualifying groups led by Svetlana Shkolina- the only athlete to attempt and jump 1.96 metres. If she been able to come close to her best personal best of 1.95 metres jump achieved at last year’s World Track & Field Championships in Daegu, Ryan would have been guaranteed a place in the Olympic final- where 1.93 metres was good enough for qualification.