IN A PERFECT EXAMPLE of the student becoming the master, Burkinabé triple jumper Hugues Fabrice Zango became the first 59-foot (or 18-meter) jumper ever indoors, bounding 59-3½ (18.07) to add 15cm to the World Indoor Record of 58-9½ (17.92) that his coach, Teddy Tamgho, set twice a decade ago. By all accounts, it’s the first time ever a WR holder has coached his immediate successor. The two of them now dominate the event’s all-time indoor list (see chart).
The big performance (Aubière, France, January 16) came on Zango’s final attempt in a series that started with a foul, followed by 56-10¼ (17.33), another foul, 57-9½ (17.61), and a 58-1 (17.70) on his penultimate jump.
“It means a lot for me because since last year I have been thinking about this record, because it was my coach’s record,” Zango said. “For me the athlete has to beat the coach. We were teasing each other about the record.”
Added the 27-year-old Zango, who won bronze at the ’19 Worlds and has an outdoor best of 57-11¼ (17.66), “It gives me more confidence about my power and my abilities to do great things in the future. Yesterday the objective was to go to the Olympics and get a medal, but now the goal is to go to the Olympics and get the gold medal.”
Finishing a far-back 2nd was France’s Melvin Raffin at 55-8½ (16.98). On the women’s side of the ledger, American Tori Franklin came out on top at 44-7½ (13.60).
Lavillenie Opens On High Note In The Vault
Renaud Lavillenie stole the show in his season opener at the Star Perche Officiel (Bordeaux, France, January 16) with a clearance of 19-5 (5.92). That equaled his highest season-opening mark ever, a feat he first turned way back in ’11.
“I cleared 5.80 [19-¼] in training and the objective today was 5.90 [19-4¼],” he said. I still have four steps to add and this will give me more speed. The signs are good.”
He beat little brother Valentin with his second-attempt clearance at 19-1 (5.82). He needed two tries at his final mark, then missed in three goes at 19-8¼ (6.00).
The Usual Suspects In Women’s High Jumping
Russia’s Mariya Lasitskene opened her hoped-for Olympic campaign with a trio of wins, two at 6-3½ (1.92) and then another at 6-6¾ (2.00). That didn’t give her the early-season lead, however, as Yaroslava Mahuchikh, still only 19, equaled her Ukrainian Indoor Record of 6-7½ (2.02). She missed three times at a PR 6-8¼ (2.04). □