Robert Grabarz

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Robert Grabarz
Robbie Grabarz Helsinki 2012.jpg
Personal information
Nationality British
Born (1987-10-03) 3 October 1987 (age 27)
Enfield, Greater London, England
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)[1]
Weight 80 kg (176 lb; 12 st 8 lb)[1]
Sport High jump

Robert "Robbie" Karl Grabarz (born 3 October 1987) is a British high jumper.


Grabarz was born in Enfield, England. He attended Crosshall Junior School and Longsands College in St Neots, Cambridgeshire and started a foundation degree programme with Loughborough College in 2006. He finished twelfth at the 2006 World Junior Championships and competed at the 2011 European Indoor Championships, finishing 23rd and failing to reach the final.[2][3] Grabarz subsequently failed to qualify for the 2011 World Championships in Athletics and lost his National Lottery funding.[3]

After this string of poor performances and funding loss, Grabarz "realised I didn't want that disappointment to happen again and I realised it was my decision to make it not happen again." He moved to Birmingham to train and "make a fresh start so I could give 100% of what I have to offer."[4] He secured financial help from BackleyBlack, the company run by former athletes Steve Backley and Roger Black. His coach Fuzz Ahmed commented: "If I hadn't found him backing and if he didn't have a credit card, I would have funded him, because that's how much I believed in him. I recognised he had matured into a person that wanted to be a world class high jumper, rather than somebody who was just a very good high jumper."[5]

2012 saw a much improved Grabarz. In January 2012 he made his international breakthrough by jumping 2.34 metres at an indoor high jump gala in Wuppertal.[6] His previous best was 2.28m and the jump saw him pass the Olympic 'A' qualifying standard.[4] In June, Grabarz won gold at the European Athletics Championships with a jump of 2.31m.[7] He followed this up at the 2012 London Olympics in August, by clearing 2.29 metres in the final to win a bronze medal.[8] After victories in the Rome and Birmingham Diamond League events, Grabarz took the overall 2012 IAAF Diamond League high jump crown, winning the Diamond Trophy and $40,000 prize money.[3][9][5]

His personal best jump is 2.37 metres, a mark set at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting on 23 August 2012, equalling the British men's outdoor record held by Steve Smith since 1992.[3]


Grabarz's unusual surname comes from Grabarz's grandfather, Ernst Karl Grabarz (1934–2001), who was Polish.[10]


Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing  Great Britain
2005 European Junior Championships Kaunas, Lithuania 18th (q) 2.05 m
2006 World Junior Championships Beijing, China 12th 2.05 m
2009 European U23 Championships Kaunas, Lithuania 11th 2.18 m
2011 European Indoor Championships Paris, France 23rd (q) 2.12 m
2012 World Indoor Championships Istanbul, Turkey 6th 2.31 m
European Championships Helsinki, Finland 1st 2.31 m
Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 3rd 2.29 m
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 8th 2.29 m
2014 World Indoor Championships Sopot, Poland 11th (q) 2.25 m

Diamond League wins[edit]

  • 2012 - Rome & Birmingham
  • Won the 2012 Overall Diamond Race High Jump title


  1. ^ a b "Robert Grabarz". 2012 Summer Olympics official site. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Robert Grabarz profile at IAAF
  3. ^ a b c d Hart, Simon (2012-08-26). "Robbie Grabarz looking to follow Olympic high jump bronze with bumper pay-day". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-08-30. 
  4. ^ a b "London 2012: Robbie Grabarz makes Olympic 'sacrifice'". BBC Sport. 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-08-30. 
  5. ^ a b "London 2012: Robbie Grabarz will need 'unbelievable' rivals". BBC Sport. 2012-06-07. Retrieved 2012-08-30. 
  6. ^ Bock, Peter (21 January 2012). "2,34-Meter-Satz besiegelt das Ende in Wuppertal" (in German). DLV. 
  7. ^ "Robbie Grabarz and Rhys Williams win European gold". BBC Sport. 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2012-08-30. 
  8. ^ "Olympics high jump: Robbie Grabarz wins bronze for GB". BBC Sport. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "Grabarz Takes Diamond Crown". Team GB. 2012-08-30. Retrieved 2012-08-30. 
  10. ^ Turnbull, Simon (26 January 2012). "Britain's Robbie Grabarz on top of the world despite losing Lottery". The Independent. 

External links[edit]