Athletics

Yulimar Rojas smashes triple jump world record

Venezuelan triple jumper Yulimar Rojas soared out to 15.67m yesterday to smash the world record with her final attempt, as she became the first woman Olympic champion in her country's history.

A charismatic presence throughout, Rojas began with a brilliant jump of 15.41m that took her 2cm beyond the Olympic record set by Cameroon's Francoise Mbango at Beijing 2008.

But the world best mark of 15.50m, set by Ukraine's Inessa Kravets in 1995, was the main target in her sights.

"I was looking for it, I knew we had that distance in my legs to get it today. I was failing a bit in the technical aspect but the last jump was one to give everything, and it was like that," said the 25-year-old.

Rojas, who won silver five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, held the smattering of people in the stands, part of Olympic delegations who likely came to see the 100m final later in the evening, enthralled.

Patricia Mamona of Portugal won silver with 15.01m, a national record. The bronze went to Spain's Ana Peleteiro with 14.87, also a national record.

Mamona, who caught Covid-19 in January and had to take a few weeks off from training, said winning an Olympic medal had made 20 years of hard training all worth it.

Yesterday morning, China's Gong Lijiao won the women's shot put gold with 20.58m, with Raven Saunders of the United States (19.79m) and New Zealand's Valerie Adams (19.64m) just behind her. - REUTERS

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