Rio Olympics 2016: Ruth Beitia wins high jump gold for Spain aged 37

Ruth Beitia
Ruth Beitia is also a member of the Cantabria Parliament

Spain's Ruth Beitia won Olympic gold in the high jump at the age of 37.

Beitia, who made her international debut in 1996, became the oldest Olympic champion in a jumping event as she cleared 1.97m on her first attempt.

That gave her victory by virtue of fewer failures at earlier heights, with Bulgaria's silver medallist Mirela Demireva and Croatia's Blanka Vlasic, who took bronze, also clearing 1.97m.

Britain's Morgan Lake finished 10th by clearing 1.93m on her third attempt.

"It's weird to think that I'm top 10 in the world and I'm disappointed with it," she said.

"1.97m is a height that's within me and I'm quite annoyed about that. But I have to take a step back and think that I'm only 19 and in an Olympic final."

Lake's team-mate Katarina Johnson-Thompson cleared 1.98m in the heptathlon but did not compete in the high jump.

Rio 2016 was the first time the winner had not cleared two metres since Italy's Sara Simeoni jumped 1.97m at the Moscow Olympics in 1980.

Beitia initially retired after the London Olympics in 2012 but came out of retirement to win bronze at the 2013 World Championships.

The Spaniard is also a member of parliament in her hometown of Cantabria.

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