Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas wins world gold in the triple jump and becomes the first athlete to win it three times | Sports

Yulimar Rojas is tense. Hayward Field was eagerly awaiting the triple jump world record holder. “How far can Rojas jump?” asked World Athletics in the analysis of the test that the organization of the World Cup usually publishes before it is held. “Will this happen to Eugene?” the text said, throwing into the air the question of whether he would break the long-awaited 16-yard barrier in Oregon.

However, the first of six jumps comes in, 14.60m below her usual level, overtaken by Jamaican Shanieka Ricketts, who takes off to score 14.89m. And the Venezuelan talks and argues with her coach, Iván Pedroso, to calm down. “I felt a little tense, I was coming out of an injury and I hadn’t done a lot of competitions. I had to find myself, find sensations, find the rhythm”, she will explain at the end.

The margin to be champion is always big, five more jumps is a lot ahead of Puerta La Cruz. And the conversation took effect immediately: he managed a second jump of 15.47m (+1.9 wind) the best of the year and the fifth longest in history, on a list in which she has seven of the top tenyes “From the second jump where I released all that tension, it was different. I just wanted him to have fun, to do it well, to have a good time and it was like that “, explains the athlete about the instructions of his coach.

This jump, inaccessible for her rivals – only one of them had managed to exceed 15 meters in her career, the Portuguese Patrícia Mamona with 15.01m -, ensures her the world title, the third in the open air to her credit, more than any other woman in history —until now she was tied with Colombian Caterine Ibargüen, Cuban Yargelis Savigne and Russian Tatyana Lebedeva—.

Then the Olympic champion from Tokyo, who trains in Guadalajara, leaves the land battle and gets to work trying to settle other scores with history: she was only three centimeters away from breaking the record. championships, and she has long expressed that her goal is to become the first woman to break the 16-meter barrier.

The record with which he arrives in Eugene, 15.74 m, achieved during the Belgrade World Cup in March – where he won his third indoor world championship – is only 26 centimeters from this border. , so arbitrary, but at the same time so round, that it was proposed to transfer.

Outside it is a little further, 15.67m. But Yulimar Rojas is trying, speaking to the Hayward Field crowd, to do his part in animating the feat. At the third attempt, he moves back a little, 15.24 meters. She seeks advice from Pedroso, the award-winning long jumper who has been leading her ever since she contacted him on Facebook to ask him to coach her.

Triple jump world champion Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela jumps at Hayward Field on Monday.
Triple jump world champion Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela jumps at Hayward Field on Monday.

But July 18 will not be the day when the woman will jump beyond 16 meters: risking more in search of the feat, she draws in the fourth and fifth, and scores 15.39 m in the last. Among her opponents, Jamaican Shanieka Ricketts won silver with 14.89m on her first jump, and American Tori Franklin won bronze with 14.72m.

“It hasn’t been with the brand I wanted due to some factors. The first thing is that I haven’t raced a lot this year, ”says Rojas at the end, happy with the victory, but aware that he hasn’t fully exploited his potential, partly because of the wind, which he blames for not being able to find the best impulse run.

You can follow EL PAÍS Sports in Facebook there Twitterthe apuntarte here to receive our weekly newsletter.

Leave a Comment