Yulimar Rojas has become an unstoppable force in the history of women’s triple jump. She is the Olympic champion, a three-time world indoor champion, the world record-holder indoors and out, and arrived in Eugene looking to win the third consecutive outdoor world title of her career.
So when Jamaican Janieka Ricketts went into the lead in round one with 14.89m (1.7), with Rojas only jumping 14.60m (0.3) and looking a little out of rhythm, you could detect the odd murmur of intrigue from the stands.
If there were any doubts, though, then Rojas’ second jump quickly dispelled them all. A leap of 15.47m (1.8), three metres shy of the championships record, put her entirely in a class of her own and secured the gold medal.
Attention now turned towards whether or not she might be able to break the outright world record of 15.74m set in Belgrade earlier this year. Her fourth jump looked big but, just as the 26-year-old looked set to embark on one of her flamboyant trademark celebrations, the red flag was raised and the wind gauge read an illegal 3.4.
Her final attempt was legal and measured 15.39m and though Rojas could not hide her frustration at not going further, there was still much to celebrate.
Ricketts’ early leap brought second place, while Tori Franklin reached 14.72m to win USA’s first ever World Championships medal at this event.
“More championships will come and I hope to continue adding titles to my country,” said Rojas after winning the seventh successive global title of her career. “Every meet, big or small, is a challenge to me.
“I came with the goal to get closer to my world record. The wind affected my run-up. I tried to adjust, but the most important thing was to win the medal and stay consistent over 15m.”