LONDON -- Raleigh’s Jesse Williams had a disappointing performance in the men’s high jump final at Olympic Stadium Tuesday, tying for ninth in a competition he had thought he had a great chance to win.
Williams made his first two jumps but then missed three times in a row at a height of slightly over 7 feet, six inches (2.29 meters). He had made that same height in the qualifying round Sunday.
After missing on his third try and knocking off the high-jump bar, Williams lay face down and spread-eagled on the mat. Then he got up, walked a few steps and fell down on his back on the mat – obviously upset.
“That is a height that I should never go out on,” Williams said later. “But it happened. It happened really fast. When I didn’t make the third bar, I just didn’t believe it was done. Still can’t. It hurts.”
When Williams finally arose from the mat, he started talking to himself but didn’t remember later exactly what he said.
“There was a lot going through my head,” said Williams, who was a star prep jumper and wrestler at Raleigh Broughton. “I just started thinking of everybody who helped get me here -- family and friends and everybody. And I know that they still love me… This was God’s plan for me. I can’t get down on myself too much. It just hurts.”
In drizzly, chilly conditions at the stadium, Russia’s Ivan Ukhov won the gold medal and the U.S.’s Erik Kynard won silver. There was a three-way tie for third between athletes from Qatar, Canada and Great Britain.