After a disappointing 2008 when she failed to win the Olympic gold medal and the US$1m Golden League by the narrowest of margins – on countback of the number of attempts she had made at the height - Croatia’s greatest high jumper Blanka Vlasic stormed back in 2009 to win World Championship gold and record a personal best within the space of 11 days in August.
At the Berlin World Championships on August 20 she cleared 2.04 metres to win gold, then in Zagreb on August 31 she reached 2.08 metres – the second best high jump ever.
In 2008 in Beijing she was forced to settle for the silver medal, beaten by the Belgian Tia Hellebaut - both cleared 2.05 metres, but Vlasic needed one more attempt than Hellebaut. This ended an unbeaten streak of 34 wins. Her disappointed was compounded when she was again beaten on countback in the final leg of the Golden League, which ended her chances of winning the US$1 million jackpot.