High jumper Brandon Starc is an Australian Olympian, Commonwealth Games gold medallist, and NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder. He won the gold medal in high jump at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. He was incredibly close to defending his title at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, however had to settle for the silver.
Brandon’s journey began in 2009 when he was a student at The Hills Sports High in Sydney’s northwest. The following year, at 16 years of age, he made his international debut at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore. In the final Brandon added 9cm to his personal best to jump 2.19cm – landing him on the podium with a silver medal. He went on to compete at the World Junior Athletes Championships in Barcelona where he finished in 6th place.
In 2013 he competed at his first senior IAAF World Championships in Russia and represented Australia again at the 2015 World Championships in China jumping a personal best of 2.31cm to make the final. He finished 12th overall. The Olympic debut came in 2016 in Rio where Brandon made it through to the final.
Brandon suffered a shin injury and 2017 and did not qualify for that year’s World Championships. Returning to international competition in 2018 Brandon had a breakout season with a series of personal bests. Competing on home soil at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Brandon jumped a personal best of 2.32cm and bagged the gold medal. A few months later he won the Birmingham Müller Grand Prix where he cleared 2.33cm. At the 2018 Eberstadt Internationales Hochsprung meeting just over a week later he jumped an all-time personal best of 2.36cm to finish first. He also finished first in the diamond league final in Belgium.
The success continued in 2019 with Brandon placing 4th at the IAAF Diamond League in Shanghai, a back to back win at the Birmingham Müller Grand Prix and a 6th place finish at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Following a stand out season, Brandon cleared 2.33m at the 2021 Diamond League in Florence to secure his qualification for the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games.
At the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Brandon cleared 2.35m in the final to record the highest jump ever by an Australian at an Olympic Games. He finished fifth in what was arguably the greatest men’s high jump final in Olympic history with the top six athletes either breaking their national record or jumping a season best. In an Olympic first, Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy decided to share the gold medal rather than have a jump off for first place.