Olympic Women’s Triple Jump — World Record For Yulimar Rojas

A 51-5 set of bounds made Yulimar Rojas the first woman ever to break the 51-foot barrier. (JEFF COHEN)

SHE PROVIDED THE INEVITABLE — TWICE. Prohibitive favorite Yulimar Rojas put an indelible stamp on winning her first Olympic gold, finishing with a World Record in becoming history’s first 51-footer at 51-5 (15.67).

The 25-year-old Venezuelan was due for both. Unbeaten since ’19, she knocked on the WR door earlier this year at 50-7½ (15.43), just shy of the 50-10¼ (15.50) set by Inessa Kravets of Ukraine in ’95. For Rojas, the win also represented the first Olympic women’s gold medal for a Venezuelan in any sport. She now has three straight major golds after winning at the last two World Championships following a Rio silver. Rojas also won gold at the two World Indoor Champs in the period, ’16 and ’18.

“Since I woke up today I knew that it was going to be a great day,” she explained. “I felt that magic, that good energy that things could be huge and I could make history.”

Silver and bronze medals went to two other NR-setters, Portugal’s Patricia Mamona and Spain’s Ana Peleteiro. That Peleteiro was the first to congratulate Rojas was no accident, and it was hard to tell who was more excited as they excitedly embraced after Rojas emerged from the pit knowing the effort was special. Peleteiro trains with Rojas in Spain under the guidance of Iván Pedroso, the ’00 Olympic long jump gold medalist.

“I have seen her cry and I have seen her laugh,” said Peleteiro. “I didn’t have doubts that she was going to get it.”

Rojas staked early claim for gold, bounding an OR/year-leading 50-6¾ (15.43) in round 1. Mamona — a former NCAA champion for Clemson — followed with at 48-11 (14.91), improving her own Portuguese Record.

AR holder Keturah Orji — just over an inch away from a medal in Rio — opened up with a promising 47-10½ (14.59), the No. 12 performance in U.S. history. She was in 4th after round 1 but didn’t improve and ended up 7th. The other two Americans — former AR holder Tori Franklin and 20-year-old Jasmine Moore — didn’t advance out of the qualifying round.

Peleteiro moved from 4th to 3rd in round 2 with her first Spanish Record of the day at 48-5½ (14.77), moving Cuba’s Liadagmis Povea out of the medals.

Until the third stanza no Jamaicans were advancing, and that included Doha silver medalist Shanieka Ricketts as well as Kim Williams. Both got through for three more jumps in 7th and 8th, with Williams knocking defending gold medalist Caterine Ibargüen out of the final 8.

Meanwhile, Rojas was becoming “a bit angry” with no improvements since the opening sequence. “Everything was going well, but I couldn’t get the distance I wanted,” she explained.

Round 4 generated changes among the medal contenders. Ricketts led off by moving into 3rd at 48-8¼ (14.84), pushing Peleteiro to 4th, and Mamona strengthened her position in 2nd with a second NR, 49-3 (15.01). While Rojas didn’t improve she extended out to 50-½ (15.25) — just the fifth time ever with multiple 50-footers (15.24) in the same series.

Peleteiro regained the bronze medal position in round 5, improving her NR to 48-9½ (14.87).

The only other improvement for anyone was one for the ages, and not just because it produced the first series with three 50-footers. With gold secure, Rojas embarked on the best jump of her life.

Remarkably, her resultant 51-5/15.67 was achieved with a segment breakdown that had technicians of the event cringing. Harkening back to the days when the event was called the hop, step & jump, her phases taped out at a skewed 19-2¾/12-6¼/19-8 (5.86/3.82/5.99).

But a further look at the analytics showed she had by far the best speed in the competition at 40.2kph. The next fastest all meet was 37.3, twice by Rojas on fouls and once by Ricketts in round 5.

“From the run I knew that I couldn’t miss,” Rojas explained. “It was on my hand, and I just had to fix some details. Landing, we already know when a jump is good. Hearing the roar from the tribune, hearing my teammates’ shouts, was incredible.

“I didn’t have to look, because my mind, my body and my soul knew that I had made it.”


WOMEN’S TRIPLE JUMP RESULTS

(August 01) (temperature 84–82F/29–28C; humidity 79–78%) (winds ranged from +1.1 to –0.1)

1. Yulimar Rojas (Ven) 51-5 (15.67) WR (old WR 50-10¼/15.50 Inessa Kravets [Ukr] ’95) (wind +0.7)

(segments—19-2¾/12-6¼/19-8 [5.86/3.82/5.99])

(50-6¾ [x, =4 W], 47-8, f, 50-½, f, 51-5) (15.41, 14.53, f, 15.25, f, 15.67);

2. Patrícia Mamona (Por) 49-3 (15.01) NR

(48-11, 40-4¼, f, 49-3, 48-1¼, 49-1½) (14.91, 12.30, f, 15.01, 14.66, 14.97);

3. Ana Peleteiro (Spa) 48-9½ (14.87) NR

(47-9, 48-5½, f, 48-0, 48-9½, 48-¾) (14.55, 14.77, f, 14.63, 14.87, 14.65);

4. Shanieka Ricketts (Jam) 48-8¼ (14.84)

(f, f, 47-5¾, 48-8¼, 47-11¾, 48-5¼) (f, f, 14.47, 14.84, 14.62, 14.76);

5. Liadagmis Povea (Cub) 48-2¾ (14.70)

(48-2¾, 48-2¾, 47-7¾, 46-11½, 47-2¼, 47-7) (14.70, 14.70, 14.52, 14.31, 14.38, 14.50);

6. Hanna Minenko (Isr) 47-10¾ (14.60)

(47-7¾, 47-10¾, 46-10, 46-10¾, f, f) (14.52, 14.60, 14.27, 14.29, f, f);

7. Keturah Orji (US) 47-10½ (14.59) (x, =12 A)

(47-10½, 46-3¼, 45-4¼, 46-4, 47-4¼, f) (14.59, 14.10, 13.82, 14.12, 14.43, f);

8. Kim Williams (Jam) 47-7¼ (14.51)

(45-2¼, f, 47-7¼, 46-4, 47-5¾, 46-10¼) (13.77, f, 14.51, 14.12, 14.47, 14.28);

first 3 rounds
Ibargüen 14.25*¶ 14.01 14.19
Rojas 15.41* 14.53 f
Mamona 14.91 12.30 f
Orji 14.59¶ 14.10 13.82
Peleteiro 14.55 14.77 f
Mäkelä 14.17¶ 14.03 13.90
Lafond f 12.57¶ f
Diallo 14.38¶ 14.28 f
Ricketts f f 14.47
Minenko 14.52 14.60¶ 14.27
Williams 13.77 f 14.51¶
Povea 14.70¶ 14.70 14.52
rounds 4–5
Ricketts 14.84¶ 14.62
Williams 14.12 14.47
Orji 14.12 14.43
Minenko 14.29 f
Povea 14.31 14.38
Peleteiro 14.63 14.87¶
Mamona 15.01¶ 14.66
Rojas 15.25 f
final round
Williams 14.28
Orji f
Minenko f
Povea 14.50
Ricketts 14.76
Peleteiro 14.65
Mamona 14.97
Rojas 15.67¶

QUALIFYING (July 30; auto-qualifier 47-3/14.40)

Qualifiers: Rojas 48-5½ (14.77), Peleteiro 47-11¾ (14.62) PR, Lafond 47-10¾ (14.60) NR, Mamona 47-8½ (14.54), Povea 47-7 (14.50), Ricketts 47-4¼ (14.43), Ibargüen 47-1¾ (14.37), Minenko 47-1½ (14.36), Williams 46-11 (14.30), Diallo 46-10¾ (14.29), Orji 46-9½ (14.26), Mäkelä 46-7½ (14.21);

Non-qualifiers: Senni Salminen (Fin) 46-7¼ (14.20), Neele Eckhardt-Noack (Ger) 46-7¼ (14.20), Davisleidis L. Velazco (Cub) 46-4¾ (14.14), Ana José Tima (DR) 46-3½ (14.11), Nubia Soares (Bra) 46-2 (14.07), Viyaleta Skvartsova (Blr) 46-1¼ (14.05), Evelise Veiga (Por) 45-8½ (13.93), Olha Saladukha (Ukr) 45-7¾ (13.91), Dariya Derkach (Ita) 45-7¼ (13.90), Gabriela Petrova (Bul) 45-3 (13.79), Jasmine Moore (US) 45-1¾ (13.76), Olga Rypakova (Kaz) 44-11 (13.69), Tori Franklin (US) 44-10¾ (13.68), Mariya Ovchinnikova (Kaz) 43-9¼ (13.34), Yorsiris Urrutia (Col) 43-2¼ (13.16), Diana Zagainova (Lit) 42-11¾ (13.10), Roksana Khudoyarova (Uzb) & Kristin Gierisch (Ger) 42-8¾ (13.02), Irina Ektova (Kaz) 42-4 (12.90), Paraskeví Papahrístou (Gre) 40-1½ (12.23);… 3f—Nadia Eke (Gha). ◻︎

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