The Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas established herself on Monday as the first triple jump world champion in a day of Eugene-2022 in which four other Olympic champions triumphed and the Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce returned to the track, one day after her stunning triumph in the 100 meters.
Yulimar Rojas, owner of the triple jump world record (15.74 meters), confirmed her overwhelming dominance of the discipline by beating Jamaican Shanieka Ricketts, who took silver with 14.89, and American Tori Franklin, bronze with 14.72.
Olympic champion in Tokyo-2020, Rojas now has three outdoor World Championship golds (2017, 2019 and 2022) and another three indoors (2016, 2018 and 2022).
This time enjoying the support of some 10,000 fans at Hayward Field in Eugene (United States), Rojas sentenced the contest with a second jump of 15.47, the best mark of the season, which was unattainable for her competitors.
From then on, the Venezuelan sought to sign a new feat like the one she did a year ago at the Tokyo-2020 Games, with her first Olympic gold and world record (15.67), or like last March at the World Track Championships Belgrade deck, where he widened the mark to 15.74 metres.
But Rojas signed two other jumps of 15.24 and 15.39 meters, which would have also given him gold, and two other failed attempts.
Even so, his victory confirmed, he gave a shout of joy and looked for the Venezuelan flag in the stands to celebrate the title.
“It’s true that (the medal) I don’t feel it the way I felt at the World Cup in Belgrade, that I did it with a record,” admitted the always self-demanding Rojas.
“Today it was a bit cold, very windy and I couldn’t find the best impulse race,” he said. “But we have fulfilled what we came here to do. Win the medal, jump over 15 meters and achieve the best world record of the year.”
– Four Olympic triumphs –
In addition to Rojas, four other Olympic champions in Tokyo-2020 seized the titles of the other finals on Monday afternoon in Eugene: the Qatari Mutaz Essa Barshim, the Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali, the Kenyan Faith Kipyegon and the Belgian Nafissatou Thiam.
Mutaz Essa Barshim won his third world title in high jump while the Italian Gianmarco Tamberi, with whom he shared the Tokyo-2020 Olympic gold, was fourth.
The Bakkali, meanwhile, won its first 3,000m hurdles world title, ending 15 years of Kenyan dominance in the event.
Nafi Thiam beat Dutch rival Anouk Vetter in the last breath of the heptathlon, while Faith Kipyegon won her second 1,500m world title.
– Fraser-Pryce for the double –
Less than 24 hours after her dazzling 100m triumph, Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce strapped on her shoes again for the 200m qualifier.
Fraser-Pryce, who won her fifth 100-meter world title on Sunday at age 35, finished second in her heat in 22.26 seconds and advanced to Tuesday’s semifinals.
Her compatriots Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah, silver and bronze on Sunday, also advanced to Tuesday’s 200m semifinals with times of 22.33 and 22.41.
In the men’s 200 meters, the current world champion Noah Lyles, on the day of his 25th birthday, was the fastest in the first classification with a time of 19.98 seconds.
His compatriot Fred Kerley, new champion of the 100 meters on Saturday, won his without problems with 20.17, as did the young phenomenon Erriyon Knighton (20.01).
Dominican Alexander Ogando, 22, also shone by winning his series with 20.01, a national record.
– Full of Ethiopia in marathon –
Earlier on Monday, Ethiopia completed a run of victories, and championship records, at the Eugene World Marathon with Gotytom Gebreslase winning the women’s event.
With a withering final attack on the Kenyan Judith Jeptum Korir, Gebreslase reached the finish line alone with a time of two hours, 18 minutes and 11 seconds, a record in World Cup history.
On Sunday Ethiopia had already celebrated the victory of Tamirat Tola in the men’s race, also with a championship record.