Series22 Aug 2016

First impressions – Caterine Ibarguen


Caterine Ibarguen in the triple jump at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 (© Getty Images)

World and Olympic triple jump champion Caterine Ibarguen has dominated her event in recent times. The experienced Colombian is next up to take our weekly first impressions questions.  

First coach

My first ever coach was Wilder James Zapata. He is a very noble person who loved both sport and athletics.

First athletics competition

My first memory was a school competition over 50m. I remember I was very nervous before my first competition. I cannot remember the result.

First media interview

I cannot recall my first interview, but I remember I was always very nervous for interviews and races. Today I’m a lot more relaxed and experienced, but I still I don’t like to watch my interviews on television. In fact, I never watch them.

First competition outside Colombia

My first ever competition outside my homeland was at the South American Youth Championships in Sante Fe, Argentina in 2001. It was a high jump competition. My memories are that I made many friends, that it was a nice experience. I liked the traveling and have very good memories about the competition. I also remember that I won the competition with a clearance of 1.77m. 

First sport

Volleyball was the first sport I ever played. I started volleyball the same year as I started athletics when I was aged 12 in 1996. I was good at volleyball. I really liked it. I played for eight years, but when I started travelling for athletics, I had to stop with volleyball.

First international athletics medal

It came in Argentina at those 2001 South American Youth Championships in Sante Fe. As I said, it was a great competition. I felt great, of course, because I won my first medal.

First disappointment

It was a race over 75m that I lost in Colombia. I was very disappointed and I cried a lot. I didn’t want the bronze medal. At the time I was very disappointed, but over time the sad feeling went away.

First toy

I played a lot in my childhood, like playing marbles, baseball, karts, tag, board games (rummikub, monopoly, Mensch ärgere Dich nicht). I liked everything. Sometimes nobody wanted to play with me, because I always wanted to win.

First thing learned to cook

I was taught by my mum and grandmother to cook. My first dish was a soup when I was 10 years old. It was very bad. Over the years I have got a lot better and now I’m cooking pasta, fish, rice and chicken and soup. The soup now tastes a lot better than the first time I prepared it.

First car

It was a Daewoo (a South Korean car) after I got my car licence in 2009. It was just a regular car.

First pet

It was a dog, called Lassie. I had him for many years, Lassie was really important for me. I had other pets after Lassie, but at the moment I don’t have a pet.

Steve Landells for the IAAF