Yulimar Rojas produced a performance worthy of a world champion on Thursday (11) in the steamy heat of Monaco as she moved from zero to hero to win the women’s triple jump event being held at the Port Hercule.
A day before the main Herculis IAAF Diamond League meeting's action at the Stade Louis II, Venezuela’s world champion teetered on the brink of an early exit from the competition before turning the whole competition upside down with two brilliant jumps.
As she ran up for her third attempt she was eleventh and last after a first round foul and a second round effort of 13.28m, and needed to get into the top eight in order to have a chance of continuing in the competition.
Of a runway that was moving around almost as much as she was, she landed at 14.96m – only nine centimetres short of her personal best.
Despite the presence in the field of Colombia’s Rio 2016 champion and 2018 World Athlete of the Year Caterine Ibarguen, it looked as if the competition had been effectively concluded – and so it proved.
But Rojas, with her next effort, added another two centimetres to her lead with 14.98m.
Cuba’s Liadagmis Povea, whose first round jump of 14.61m had established her as the early leader, improved to 14.71m in taking second place ahead of Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts, who had a best of 14.67m.
Ibarguen had to be content with sixth place and a best of 14.33.
It was an excellent competition, witnessed in hot conditions by a crowd which filled the stand, and also the fences along the runway, with HRH Prince Albert of Monaco also enjoying the spectacle.
Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF