Men’s High Jump Statistical Analysis

Earlier today at the Daily Relay I mentioned the unusual depth of talent in the men’s high jump this year, most of it young, and wondered if it was among the best ever. After running some numbers, the answer is “not yet”.

Bohdan Bondarenko jumped 2.41 meters today, pushing Mutaz Essa Barshim’s 2.40 down to #2 on the world list. This is only the fourth season in history in which two men have gone over 2.40 meters. If (more likely when) Erik Kynard gets over 2.39 meters, then it will be only the second season with three men over that height.

So what are the deepest years, at least by heights cleared? It was the period from 1988 to 1991. Here are the seasons with the most different jumpers over various heights.

Most over 2.42: 2 (1988 – Javier Sotomayor, Carlo Thränhardt)
Most over 2.40: 3 (1991 – Sotomayor, Hollis Conway, Charles Austin)
Most over 2.39: 4 (1991 – Sotomayor, Conway, Austin, Ralf Sonn)
Most over 2.38: 5 (1988 – Sotomayor, Thränhardt, Patrick Sjöberg, Gennadiy Avdeyenko, Sergey Malchenko)
Most over 2.37: 9 (1988)
Most over 2.36: 12 (1988)
Most over 2.35: 13 (1988)
Most over 2.34: 18 (1990)
Most over 2.33: 21 (1990)
Most over 2.32: 26 (1990)
Most over 2.31: 35 (1990)

What about young jumpers? Here is the all-time U23 list (athletes were 22 or younger for the entire calendar year):

2.44 Javier Sotomayor CUB 1989
2.42 Patrik Sjöberg SWE 1987
2.41 Igor Paklin KGZ 1985
2.40 Mutaz Essa Barshim QAT 2013
2.39 Hollis Conway USA 1989
2.39 i Ivan Ukhov RUS 2007
2.39 Zhu Jianhua CHN 1984
2.38 Dragutin Topic SRB 1993
2.38 i Linus Thörnblad SWE 2007
2.38 i Steve Smith GBR 1994
2.38 i Wolf-Hendrik Beyer GER 1994
2.37 Andrey Silnov RUS 2006
2.37 i Artur Partyka POL 1991
2.37 Eric Kynard USA 2013
2.37 Jacques Freitag RSA 2002
2.37 i Jaroslav Bába CZE 2005
2.36 Aleksander Walerianczyk POL 2003
2.36 Dusty Jonas USA 2008
2.36 Gerd Wessig GDR 1980
2.36 Michal Bieniek POL 2005
2.36 Sergey Zasimovich KGZ 1984
2.35 Darrin Plab USA 1992
2.35 Dietmar Mögenburg GER 1980
2.35 Gennadiy Avdeyenko UKR 1985
2.35 Ján Zvara CZE 1985
2.35 Mark Boswell CAN 1999
2.35 Sorin Matei ROU 1985
2.35 Tim Forsyth AUS 1993
2.35 i Volodymyr Yaschenko UKR 1978
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