Pedro Pichardo of Cuba competes for winning the Men's Triple Jump Final on day six of the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona on 15 July 2012 (© Getty Images)
Cuba’s world junior champion Pedro Pablo Pichardo made a massive improvement when he produced a big personal best and world-leading triple jump of 17.69m with his first attempt at a rainy 63rd Barrientos Memorial meeting in Havana on Tuesday (4).
"Competing with (training partner) Ernesto Reve, who has had a very good season so far, was key to achieve this performance," said Pichardo. "Things came out well despite the unfavourable weather conditions."
Although he is now in his first year in the senior ranks, he will not turn 20 until 30 June and his performance is the best ever by a teenager, supplanting the 17.68m leapt by his compatriot Yoelbi Quesada as a 19-year-old back in 1993.
Born in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, Pichardo had become the latest Cuban to join the 17-metre club when he jumped 17.16m on 15 February. He improved to 17.31m in Havana on 24 May.
With his massive jump, he overtook Reve as the No.1 in the world outdoors in his event this year. Reve, having jumped 17.46m in March, finished second on this occasion with 17.32m. Franky Veranes was third with 16.56m.
Both train under Ricardo Ponce’s guidance, the coach who led Yoandri Betanzos to five World Championships medals, both indoors and outdoors.
Mabel Gay, the 2009 world silver medallist, took the women’s triple jump with 14.26m, ahead of Dailenis Alcantara who was second with 14.02m. Yariadna Martinez was third with 13.96m while two-time world champion Yargelis Savigne was fourth with 13.90m.
World and Olympic medallist Yarelis Barrios won the women’s discus with 63.31m to beat Yaime Perez, who threw 62.49m.
Rose Mary Almanza and Pan-American Games gold medallist Andy Gonzalez ran fast times in the 800m with 2:00.13 and 1:45.72 respectively, with 17-year-old Sahily Diago second in the women’s race in 2:02.19.
Two-time World Championships medallist Guillermo Martinez threw 79.68m in the javelin while world junior champion winner Yordan O'Farrill who, like his Barcelona team-mate Pichardo, is in his first year in the senior ranks, ran a personal best of 13.44 in 110m hurdles.
Other winners included Pan-American Games champion Omar Cisneros in the 400m hurdles in 50.60 and Roberto Janet, who threw the hammer 73.59m.
Also showing good form was world and Olympic decathlon silver medallist Leonel Suarez, who threw 68.00m in the javelin with just a five-step run-up.
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF