Robbie Grabarz may not feature in any of NIKE’s  latest commercials but looks bent on making it (2012) count and stretch a fairytale journey all the way up to London, brimming with confidence and prepared to gamble if need arises along the way.

Such a wager paid off handsomely last night at the high jump meeting at Wuppertal, Germany, as he followed his hunches to pass over his remaining two attempts at a would-be Olympic A standard of 2.32m, having cleared a PB of 2.30m first time out, and go for broke at a daunting 2.34m against Deagu silver medallist Aleksey Dmitrik, who had succeeded for a world-leading mark instead.

Both failed at the first call, the Russian holding the edge, but the Briton rose magnificently to the challenge next time out on the run-up to soar over a massive PB in his effective last attempt and snatch victory out of the hands of his top opponent, who couldn’t find a way back.

It is dreamland to the full effect of the word, as well as most unfamiliar surroundings, where Grabarz landed steering clear of the bar to stand on top of the world rankings and gain the driving seat in the tussle for places on the British team.

Even more so considering that it is roughly three months since he was axed from UK Athletics funding scheme along with the rest of the high jumpers. By stark contrast, he is now developing into a world class athlete that could fancy his changes of a medal at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul and dare dream of a lot more beyond that.

On top of that, the 24-year-old NEB jumper finds himself equal third in the British all-time lists indoors and outdoors combined behind only greats Steve Smith (2.38) and Dalton Grant,  leaping seven places at a single sroke. Surreal but nice!

Samson Oni had to endure a rather indifferent day as he stayed low at only 2.19m off the back of an encouraging season debut of 2.26m last week.

Incidentally, Smith also set his ultimate British marker in the very same arena back in 1994.


Robbie Grabarz’s world-leading clearance from a better angle

UK All-time lists (combined)

1.Steve Smith 2.38i (1994)/2.37 (1992 & 1993)

2.Dalton Grant 2.37i (1994)/2.36 (1991)

3.Germayne Mason 2.34 (2008)

– Robbie Grabarz 2.34i (2012)/2.28 (2010 & 2011)

5.Brendan Reilly 2.32i (1994)/2.31 (1992)

6.Geoff Parsons 2.31 (1994)

– Samson Oni 2.31i (2010)/2.30 (2008)

– Tom Parsons 2.31i (2011)/ 2.30 (2008)

9.Ben Challenger 2.30 (1999)

– Martyn Bernard 2.30 (2008)