In a historic feat, Venezuelan triple jumper Yulimar Rojas broke the 16-year old world record in indoor triple jump at the ongoing World Athletics Indoor Tour meet in Madrid. What’s more, this is the second longest jump ever in the history of the sport, across indoor and outdoor categories.
Rojas broke the record set by Russia’s Tatyana Lebedeva in March 2004 with a leap of 15.43m. Lebedeva had created her record by accomplishing a jump of 15.36m. This shows the magnitude of the 24-year old athlete’s achievement.
Now, the only remaining mark in front of her is the overall and outdoor world record which stands at 15.50m and was set way back in August 1995 by Ukraine’s Inessa Kravets. Rojas, who has already won a silver medal at the Olympics, would definitely set her eyes at clearing that record as well at Tokyo later this year and clinch her gold medal.
This is the farthest that Rojas has jumped in any tournament. Her previous best of 15.41m came outdoors. This is a clear warning sign to all the triple jumpers that she will be competing against at the 2020 Olympics.
Born on October 21, 1995, in Caracas, a few months after the world record in this event was set by Kravets, Rojas became the South American champion in 2015 and the following year, claimed the World Indoor Champion crown.
However, at Rio, she had to settle for a silver. Not deterred, she became the overall World Champion in 2017 and retained that title two years later. She also won the gold again at the World Indoor Championships in 2018, thereby making this her third successive victory at these games.
The world record was set on her sixth attempt after she had already created a new South American record by jumping 15.29m on her third attempt. This meet is the last in the World Athletics Indoor Tour. With this grand finish, there would be very few people betting against her at the Olympics.