Athletics: Venezuela's Rojas wins fourth straight world women's triple jump gold

AFP , Friday 25 Aug 2023

Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in astonishing style to win a fourth consecutive women's triple jump at the World Athletics Championships on Friday.

Yulimar Rojas
Yulimar Rojas, of Venezuela, celebrates after winning the Women s triple jump final during the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Friday, Aug. 25, 2023.(AP Photo/Petr David Josek)


Rojas jumped 15.08m on her sixth and final attempt having struggled in the early rounds while Ukraine's Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk, who had led for five jumps, took silver with 15.00m.

Cuban Leyanis Perez Hernandez claimed bronze with 14.96m.

After the opening three jumps in Budapest, Rojas stood just eighth with a best of 14.33m, scraping into the top eight of the 12-strong field who advance to the second half of the competition.

The Venezuelan fouled in her fourth and fifth jumps, on each occasion grimacing in anguish as she picked herself up from the sandpit.

Yet somehow Rojas dug deep to muster all her technical prowess and physical might for her sixth and final attempt, sailing out to her winning 15.08m.

She could barely believe it when the distance flashed up on the big screen, collapsing to her knees with her hands covering her face.

Up until that point, all the signs were that European champion Bekh-Romanchuk, who also won world silver in Doha in 2019, would win.

Bekh-Romanchuk leapt a season's best of 15.00m on her first attempt to take control of the leaderboard as Rojas looked in dreadful early form.

But the Ukrainian eventually had to be content with silver, her country's first medal of these championships.

For Rojas, the gold was yet another accolade for a triple jumper who has reigned supreme at global championships since 2017.

Not only did the 27-year-old win world golds in London that year, in Doha two years later and in Eugene last year, but she also became Olympic champion in the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021 with a then world record of 15.67m.

That mark was improved to 15.74m when the Venezuelan won her third world indoor title in Belgrade in 2022.

The last time Rojas was beaten in her speciality was more than two years ago and although she lost when making her senior global championships debut at the Rio Olympics in 2016, she still secured silver.

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