Brandon Starc's outstanding form this international season continued with a brilliant second place in the high jump at the Diamond League in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Taking on the "Athletissima" field that included a former world outdoor and indoor champ amongst other world medallists, Starc held his own with a first-time clearance at 2.29m that sealed his runner-up spot. Starc went on to miss three attempts at a would-be personal best 2.33m.
Danil Lysenko, the only other man in the field to clear 2.29m first up, had a clean slate throughout and after winning at 2.33m went on to clear a season's best 2.37m.
Starc arrived in the city known as the home to the International Olympic Committee with confidence, "Coming off 2.32m (in Hungary) a couple of days ago I was in a good head space going into Lausanne."
"It’s always exciting competing in a Diamond League event, especially because it's in Switzerland."
Starc "was a bit wobbly at the start of the comp" with some early misses at 2.20m and 2.25m and the Sydney-siders approach had to be modified for the venue.
"I have one of, if not the longest high jump run-ups in the world which makes it difficult to fit in some places.
"This was a bit of a problem tonight as well as at the Oslo Diamond League where my run-up was about 4 steps too short.
"With that being said I managed to pull together a couple good jumps including the first time clearance at 2.29m."
The Alex Stewart coached-athlete said the second place was "a little sweeter" considering the world class athletes he defeated including former world outdoor champion Donald Thomas (Bahamas), 2016 World Indoor champ Gianmarco Tamberi (Italy), London 2017 bronze winner, Majd Eddin Ghaza (Syria) and 2.35m man Bryan McBride (USA).
Starc returns home to Australia now for a training block before heading back to Europe for the Birmingham Diamond League and other competitions later in the summer.
It was great jumping straight off the plane for Brooke Stratton as she started her European campaign with a solid 6.62m (+0.1) for 6th in the long jump behind winner Malaika Mihambo (GER).
The German reached out to 6.90m as UK's world leader Lorraine Ugen, could only manage seventh with 6.48m. Ugen just last week soared 7.05m to win the British Champs.
Australian record-holder Linden Hall was 13th in the 1500m in 4.07.26 won in a super fast meet record by American Shelby Houlihan in 3.57.34.
Nina Kennedy was 11th with 4.27m in the pole vault won by Greece's Katerina Stefanidi with 4.82m.
The day before the main stadium's competition Kurtis Marschall placed equal third with a first attempt clearance at 5.77m in the pole vault held in the city centre. He then missed at what would have been a personal best 5.84m. Marschall finished equal with current world leader Sam Kendricks (USA). The competition was won by France's world record holder Renaud Lavillenie with 5.91m.
Pat Birgan for Athletics Australia