Caterine Ibargüen takes silver

By Freek Huigen August 9, 2017
Caterine Ibargüen

Caterine Ibargüen fails at her attempt to take the lead at the Athletics World Championships in London.

Caterine Ibargüen claims the triple jump silver medal at the Athletics World Championships in London. Her 14.89 metre jump was two centimetres less than Yulimar Rojas from Venezuela who wins her maiden World Championships title with 14.91metres.

A fierce battle unfolded in the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, London, the same stadium where Caterine Ibargüen had won the silver Olympic medal in 2012. The 33-year-old from Apartadó and her 12-year-younger Venezuelan opponent pushed each other to the limits. In the first round, all-smiles Ibargüen was leading the pack with 14.67m, but in the second round Rojas crushed that and took the lead with a 14.82m jump. Ibargüen, aware of the threat from the Venezuelan who had beaten her earlier this season, stepped up her game and reclaimed the lead in round three with 14.89m.

Olga Rypakova from Kazakhstan, Olympic gold medallist here five years ago thought 14.77m would take her into the battle, but it was her best jump and she settled for bronze. Rojas took the lead back again in round five when she set the mark at 14.91m. Ibargüen gave her all in her final jump and the crowd went ecstatic when she landed on the imaginary winning line on the screen. Nevertheless, the scoreboard was unforgiving as 14.88m flashed up, allowing Rojas to celebrate.

After victories in Moscow 2013 and Beijing 2015, the defeat of the current Olympic champion wasn’t completely unexpected. Earlier this season Rojas had already beaten the Colombian in the Diamond League meeting in Rome and the Venezuelan holds the season’s best distance at 14.96m.

Other Colombian hopefuls this tournament are the race walkers. Éider Arévalo and Sandra Lorena Arenas will both compete in the 20 kilometre race walk. Arévalo already showed his potential earlier this year with a victory in the World Cup in Portugal, while Arenas finished second in that race. Both athletes are outsiders for a spot on the podium in London. The women’s 20 kilometre race walk takes place on Sunday August 13 at 6.20am Colombian time, followed by the men’s competition at 8.20am.

For 38-year-old Luis Fernando López it will be his final participation at the World Championships. The 50 kilometre race walk will be his last. In London, López is looking for revenge for the Olympic race five years ago, where he was in the leading group when he was disqualified for flying – being out of contact with the ground.

The World Championships in London will mark the final professional athletics tournament for Usain Bolt. The greatest sprinter in the history of athletics was beaten in his final solo race – the 100 metre sprint – and will say goodbye to the crowd at the 4×100 metre relay.