McDermott smashes Aust high jump record

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Nicola McDermott has firmed as a genuine medal contender at the Tokyo Olympics after smashing her own Australian high jump record at the Diamond League meet in Stockholm.

McDermott, 24, cleared 2.01m at the second attempt on Sunday night (early Monday AEST), adding one centimetre to her previous best set at the national Olympic trials in Sydney in April.

Countrywoman Eleanor Patterson - the 2014 Commonwealth gold medallist - also impressed in the Swedish capital by finishing third with 1.96m in a high-standard competition won by Ukraine's Yaroslava Mahuchikh with 2.03m - the best clearance anywhere in the world this year.

McDermott's record-breaking 2.01m would have been good enough to claim high jump gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics and would have had her on the podium at any previous Games except for 2004 in Athens.

"Today I wasn't feeling 100 per cent, but I knew that didn't mean it wasn't possible to jump two metres," said McDermott.

"To do this today is a gift, it's great.

"I've got a good system and a good routine, but I have faith that allows me to jump a lot higher than my body is really capable of.

"I think 2.01m is certainly possible to be in the medals, so I'm aiming and training as if it's already sealed and I'm just believing that I can do it."

McDermott also had three cracks at 2.03m for just the second time in her career.

"I really enjoy the feeling of flying once reaching those heights over two metres," she said.

"Over the past few years when I have been growing, my faith in God seems to make my fears and doubts of what I can jump disappear, so I don't see 2.03m as intimidating at all."

In other Diamond League action at the Olympic Stadium in Stockholm, Australian record-holder Catriona Bisset was fifth in 1:59.13 in a red-hot women's 800m won by Cuban Rose Mary Almanza in 1:56.28.

Genevieve Gregson was seventh in the women's 3000m steeplechase in 9:23.24 - her fastest time in five years.

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