We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


World Athletics Championships: Starc similarities as Mitchell's kid brother gets ready for high jump


According to some critics Down Under, in the wake of the Australian failure to regain the Ashes Mitchell Starc should be for the metaphorical high jump ahead of the fourth Test, which starts at Chester-le-Street this morning. "He lacks the consistency needed to succeed at Test level," boomed Nick Richardson of The Roar website.

As the 23-year-old seam bowler waits to discover if he makes the match XI in the North-east of England, it just so happens that his 19-year-old brother is in the heart of Russia preparing to make his senior international championship debut in the high jump.

Brandon Starc secured his place in the Australia team for the track and field World Championships, which open here tomorrow, with a 2.28 metre clearance that won him his first national title.

He is the first Australian high jumper to make the grade for Olympic or World Championship selection since Tim Forsyth competed in the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

"This is the start of my senior career," said the younger Starc brother, a bronze medallist in the 2010 Youth Olympics. "To make the team for Moscow has left me feeling on top of the world."

If things had turned out differently, he might have been on the top half of the world playing alongside his big brother in a different sporting extravaganza.

"I played cricket with him a few times, when I filled in for his team," Brandon said. "I was pretty young. I might have got a bowl but I was mainly used as a fielder.

"I tried to be a bowler. I thought I was a bowler-batter but, really, I was pretty average. I played in my own age group but, like all my siblings, I did athletics and because I did well I eventually gave up on cricket and soccer to focus on athletics."