Not often do we see spectators cheering two competitors in a field event like what was witnessed in the women’s Triple Jump final where Yulimar Rojas pipped defending champion Caterine Ibarguen to win GOLD at the World Championships in London.
The margin of Rojas’ victory was such that she won by 2cm, recording her best leap of 14.91m in her fifth attempt to usurp Ibarguen who had to settle for Silver with 14.89m.
Ibarguen led from her first attempt until Rojas stoked up the pressure and went in front. The Colombian tried to respond and came up with 14.71m in her fifth attempt.
With one jump remaining and huge support from the crowd, Ibarguen tried to match her South American counterpart, but it was not to be as she came agonizingly close with a mark of 14.88m. Former champion, Olga Rypakova finished 3rd with a mark of 14.77m
For Rojas who has now added a World outdoor title to her indoor title won in 2016, she will be delighted to give her country something to cheer about, considering the extreme economic hardships there. Also this is the first ever GOLD Venezuela is winning at the World Championships.
“I made a promise to myself that I would change the colour of my hair if I won the gold medal. I guess it will be between pink and kind of purple,” Rojas said after her win.
“I am so proud about this GOLD medal. My family, my friends and my country – I made them proud and full of joy. This is a great victory for my country. I am sure they will be celebrating and having a party. Thanks for everything, to my friends, family, my coach and Venezuela,” she further added.
“Yes, the last attempt of Caterine Ibarguen was hard for me, I feared her last attempt, I was afraid that I could lose my GOLD medal there. But fortunately that did not happen.”
Meanwhile in the women’s Hammer throw, World Record (WR) holder Anita Wlodarczyk survived a scare to retain her world title, throwing a distance of 77.90m
For some time, China’s Zheng Wang led with 75.98m which she won Silver with, but immediately Wlodarczyk got into her groove, there was no stopping her as she took the win.
Wlodarczyk’s compatriot Malwina Kopron won Bronze with a mark of 74.76m to make it a Polish 1-3.