The star line-up of men is led by Korean WOO
The start list of the men's competition includes 9 athletes from the top 20 of the world ranking. The biggest favorite is the world number four, world indoor champion and silver medalist from the outdoor championships, Korean representative Sanghyeok Woo. This ever-smiling athlete won in his first start in Hustopeče in 2022 with a performance of 236 cm, which is still his absolute best. His biggest rivals will surely be two athletes from the top ten of the world rankings. The world number seven, fourth from the last world championships in Budapest last year, and the best Cuban high jumper Enrique Luis Zayas with a personal best of 233 cm. The same personal best is also held by a new face in Hustopeče, world number eight Norbert Kobielski of Poland, who impressed the high jumping world at the end of last season when he finished second in the Diamond League final. Great expectations promise the start of one of the best American high-jump athletes Shelby McEwan, who finished 7th in the final of the World Championships last year, and a year before he was even 5th at the home World Championships in Eugene. His personal best is also 233 cm.
Most of all, however, the spectators in the Hustopeče Municipal Hall will keep their fingers crossed for the home ace of the last few weeks. Jan Štefela, the 2021 European U22 champion, is in amazing form. Recently, the athlete of coach Jaroslav Baba surpassed 230 cm for the first time in his career. This height is only valid for him in the Czech Republic, and he would like to confirm it in the world rankings. The great crowd in his favorite Hustopeče should help him to do so. "It's a wonderful meeting, I don't even know how to describe it in words," he described the atmosphere of the Hustopeče jumping to Aktuálně.cz agency. Hustopeče has its own charm." The organizers believe that Honza will join the 31 jumpers who have ever surpassed the 230 cm bar in Hustopeče.
Spectators in the Municipal Hall can also look forward to a duel between two great legends of world high jump. Probably his last season was announced by the 2007 Osaka World Champion Donald Thomas from the Bahamas, who would like to embellish his retirement by breaking the world record in his age category. Donald boasts the best ever PB of all competitors at 237 cm. Only one centimetre less is held by 2017 World Championships bronze medallist and seventh at the 2016 Olympics Majd Eddin Ghazal of Syria.
The fourth man from the World Championships 2017 in London and the seventh from the World Indoor Championships 2022, Mexican Edgar Rivera (PB 231 cm), can boast the most starts in Hustopeče. Last year's third place will be defended by his national teammate Erick Portillo, who is in the second ten in the world rankings and comes to Hustopeče with the goal of surpassing the 230 cm bar for the first time in his career. After last year's successful year, crowned with a bronze medal at the Indoor European Championships in Istanbul, young Belgian Thomas Carmoy, the 2019 European Junior Champion and sixth at the 2022 Indoor World Championships, wants to do even better. Italian Marco Fassinotti has also tasted the atmosphere of the Hustopeče hall in the past. His personal best is 235 cm and he has also jumped over the 230 cm mark in Hustopeče in the past. Last year's European indoor champion Douwe Amels from the Netherlands will also come to Hustopeče for the first time. He won in Istanbul with 231 cm, which is his best so far, but he would like to improve it in Hustopeče. A rarity will be the start of the best Indian high jumper of recent years Shankar Tejaswin, who has a personal best of 229 cm. Will he manage to improve it in Hustopeče?