World Champs Women’s Triple Jump — Rojas Tops 50 Again

Yulimar Rojas bounded past the 50-foot barrier not once, but twice. (VICTOR SAILER/PHOTO RUN)

IN SHARP CONTRAST to her victory in London 2 years ago, Yulimar Rojas dominated this competition to take back-to-back wins. Last time she won by less than an inch; this time she put more than a foot between herself and the best of the rest with two jumps over the metric benchmark of 15m (49-2½), with one of those also over the 50-foot (15.24) marker. The series was topped by her second-round 50-5¼ (15.37), the No. 4 performance in history. The 23-year-old Venezuelan was the pre-champs favorite, having won 6 out of her 8 outdoor outings this year, with 3 of them over 15m—a distance no one else has reached in ’19—and she quickly stamped her authority on the contest.

Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts—who had beaten Rojas to the DL title in Zürich at the end of August—opened at 48-7¼ (14.81) but the defending champ began with a solid 48-9½ (14.87), better than the PRs of most of the field.
In the second round Rojas as good as clinched the title, nailing the board as-good-as perfectly and stretching out to her winning distance of 50-5¼. This would have been a big PR but for her recent 50-6¾ (15.41)—a performance second only to the WR on the all-time list—set in Andújar, Spain, at her last meet before arriving in Doha.

An innovation at these championships has been the quick publication of approach speeds and a breakdown of the phases, and the data showed that she was less than two inches (4.5cm) behind the plasticine at takeoff and then uncorked a hop of 18-8¾ (5.71), step of 13-2¾ (4.03), and a jump of 18-5¾ (5.63). The two aspects that set Rojas apart from her peers in Doha were her speed on the runway (although her big jump was actually the slowest of her 6 attempts) and her ability to come out of her first two phases and still have the strength to be able to produce a much bigger jump than her rivals.

In the third round Ricketts improved to 48-11½ (14.92), but that was as good as she would get in taking the silver. Round 4 featured another 15m jump from the leader, 15.18 (49-9¾), but the thrills in the duel for gold and silver then subsided in the final two stanzas as neither Rojas nor Ricketts could improve.

The inevitable question is, can Rojas soon top Inessa Kravets’ WR of 50-10¼ (15.50), set at the ’95 WC and now on the books for 24 years? It seems it could be on the cards. “It’s something I have my eye on now. I have advanced a lot, I am very close, but I am very young, I have a long way to go. I have to work hard in the next year and improve centimeter by centimeter,” said Rojas, who is based almost permanently in Spain where she is coached by Cuban LJ great Iván Pedroso.

Behind the leading pair, Colombia’s ’13 and ’15 WC winner, Caterine Ibargüen, struggling with plantar fasciitis in her right foot since mid-July and having not competed for 12 weeks, had been languishing a long way from the medals and was down in 6th ahead of the fifth round. However, the reigning Olympic champ showed her true grit and bounded out to 48-4 (14.73) with her penultimate jump and that would hold up for bronze.

Both Americans, Keturah Orji and Tori Franklin, made the final but were not in medal contention and ended up 7th and 9th with 47-5¼ (14.46) and 46-1½ (14.08). Still, that was major progress as only one other American, Cynthea Rhodes with an 11th in ’97, had ever previously even made the final.


WC WOMEN’S TRIPLE JUMP RESULTS

FINAL

(October 05) (temperature 81F/27C; humidity 71%)

1. Yulimar Rojas (Ven) 50-5¼ (15.37) (x, 4 W)

(48-9½, 50-5¼, f, 49-9¾, 48-5½, f) (14.87, 15.37, f, 15.18, 14.77, f);

2. Shanieka Ricketts (Jam) 48-11½ (14.92)

(48-7¼, 48-5¼, 48-11½, 48-3½, 48-8¾, f) (14.81, 14.76, 14.92, 14.72, 14.85, f);

3. Caterine Ibargüen (Col) 48-4 (14.73)

(46-5½, f, 47-3, 47-5¼, 48-4, 47-5¾) (14.16, f, 14.40, 14.46, 14.73, 14.47);

4. Kim Williams (Jam) 48-½ (14.64)

(48-½, 48-½, 47-8, f, f, 46-6) (14.64, 14.64, 14.53, f, f, 14.17);

5. Olha Saladukha (Ukr) 47-7¾ (14.52)

(47-7¾, 47-3, f, 40-6, 46-9, 46-1¼) (14.52, 14.40, f, 12.34, 14.25, 14.05);

6. Ana Peleteiro (Spa) 47-5¾ (14.47)

(47-5¾, 44-0, f, 46-10, 46-7¼, 46-7¼) (14.47, 13.41, f, 14.27, 14.20, 14.20);

7. Keturah Orji (US) 47-5¼ (14.46)

(f, 47-5¼, f, 47-1¾, 46-8¾, 47-5) (f, 14.46, f, 14.37, 14.24, 14.45);

8. Patrícia Mamona (Por) 47-3 (14.40)

(47-3, 47-¾, 46-11, 46-6, f, f) (14.40, 14.34, 14.30, 14.17, f, f);

9. Tori Franklin (US) 46-2½ (14.08)

(46-2, f, 46-2½) (14.07, f, 14.08);

10. Rouguy Diallo (Fra) 46-2½ (14.08)

(f, f, 46-2½) (f, f, 14.08);

11. Elena Andreea Panţuroiu (Rom) 46-2 (14.07)

(46-2, f, f) (14.07, f, f);

12. Kristiina Mäkelä (Fin) 45-10¾ (13.99)

(45-3¾, 45-10¾, 45-1) (13.81, 13.99, 13.74).

first 3 rounds
* = progression of the leading jump
¶ = athlete’s best of the day
Saladukha 14.52*¶ 14.40 f
Panţuroiu 14.07¶ f f
Ricketts 14.81* 14.76 14.92¶
Rojas 14.87* 15.37*¶ f
Mäkelä 13.81 13.99¶ 13.74
Ibargüen 14.16 f 14.40
Peleteiro 14.47¶ 13.41 f
Diallo f f 14.08¶
Mamona 14.40¶ 14.34 14.30
Franklin 14.07 f 14.08¶
Williams 14.64¶ 14.64 14.53
Orji f 14.46¶ f
rounds 4 & 5
Ibargüen 14.46 14.73¶
Mamona 14.17 f
Orji 14.37 14.24
Peleteiro 14.27 14.20
Saladukha 12.34 14.25
Williams f f
Ricketts 14.72 14.85
Rojas 15.18 14.77
last round
Mamona f
Orji 14.45
Peleteiro 14.20
Saladukha 14.05
Williams 14.17
Ibargüen 14.47
Ricketts f
Rojas f

QUALIFYING

(October 03; auto-qual 46-11/14.30)

Qualifiers: Ricketts 47-3¾ (14.42), Ibargüen & Saladukha 46-11¾ (14.32), Rojas 46-11½ (14.31), Orji 46-11 (14.30), Mäkelä 46-9½ (14.26), Diallo 46-9 (14.25), Peleteiro & Franklin 46-8¼ (14.23), Mamona 46-7½ (14.21), Williams 46-7¼ (14.20), Panţuroiu 46-4 (14.12).

Non-qualifiers: Dovilė Kilty (Lit) & Olga Rypakova (Kaz) 46-2¾ (14.09), Liadagmis Povea (Cub) 46-2½ (14.08), Gabriela Petrova (Bul) 45-10½ (13.98), Ottavia Cestonaro (Ita) 45-10 (13.97), Evelise Veiga (Por) 45-7 (13.89), Susana Costa (Por) & Yorsiris Urrutia (Col) 45-2¼ (13.77), Iryna Vaskouskaya (Blr) 44-10¼ (13.67), Diana Zagainova (Lit) 44-9 (13.64), Patricia Sarrapio (Spa) 44-6¾ (13.58), Liuba M. Zaldívar (Ecu) 44-6 (13.56), Hanna Krasutska (Ukr) 43-2¼ (13.16), Aleksandra Nacheva (Bul) 42-9¾ (13.05). ◻︎

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