After the duel in Doha and the routine in Rabat, Round 3 of the Women’s Triple Jump Diamond League Race takes place tomorrow night in Rome, Italy. Featuring a larger field than the previous competitions, and athletes of higher quality, expectations are high for a contest similar to the calibre and competitiveness we witnessed in Doha.
Caterine Ibarguen heads the field following her 33rd consectutive victory in Rabat and looking as determined as ever this season. With one eye on the Birmingham Diamond League Meeting on Sunday, she may not be prepared to take all 6 attempts in Rome, but wanting to stamp her authority on the event in the run-up to Rio, as well as to retain her long unbeaten streak, she will undoubtedly be as competitive as ever.
Yulimar Rojas lies 2nd in the Diamond Race, 11 points behind Ibarguen, but following a disappointing display in Rabat where she could only reach 14.11m despite being so close to 15 metres just a few weeks before in Doha, one wonders which Rojas will turn up in Italy. Paraskevi Papachristou lies 3rd with 8 points thanks to taking the runner-up spot in Rabat where she jumped a season’s best 14.28m into a headwind. She will have to improve significantly further in Rome to be granted the full quota of 6 jumps given the quality of field this time around.
Olympic Champion Olga Rypakova returns to the Diamond League after placing 3rd in Doha with her season’s best of 14.61m, while European Champion Olha Saladukha makes her 2016 Diamond League debut following her season opener of 14.18m last weekend in Ukraine.
World Indoor silver medallist Kristin Gierisch of Germany began her season last week with 14.31m. She has proved to peak well at major championships in recent seasons, so will be using this meeting as a stepping stone to Amsterdam and Rio, while Cuba’s 20 year-old Liadagmis Povea will be an interesting entrant following a 14.56m PB achieved in March. The World Junior silver medallist from 2014 could prove to be another young jumper with the potential to ruin Ibarguen’s Olympic dream later this summer.
Early World Leader, with 14.57m in April, Shanieka Thomas features but will hope to improve on her 14.10m Doha showing. Fellow Jamaican Kimberly Williams makes her 2016 debut and will look to quickly get back to the kind of form that took her to 2014 Commonwealth gold in Glasgow.
France’s Jeanine Assani Issouf improved her PB to 14.26m taking 4th in Doha, following a good winter, and could go further again in Rome. Former European Indoor Champion Simona La Mantia, far from her best, and fellow Italian Dariya Derkach complete the field of 12 jumpers.
Unfortunately, once again, the Triple Jump competition takes place early (5.50pm BST), before the main programme of events and live coverage on Eurosport2 (7-9 pm BST). Let’s hope the level of competition and interest it can generate can soon end this worrying trend for the event.
Women’s Triple Jump Line-Up (with outdoor PBs/2016 Diamond League Points):
Caterine Ibarguen (Colombia) 15.31m/20
Olga Rypakova (Kazakhstan) 15.25m/4
Olha Saladukha (Ukraine) 14.99m/0
Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela) 14.79m/9
Paraskevi Papachristou (Greece) 14.72m/8
Simona La Mantia (Italy) 14.69m/0
Kimberly Williams (Jamaica) 14.62m/0
Shanieka Thomas (Jamaica) 14.57m/1
Liadagmis Povea (Cuba) 14.56m/0
Kristin Gierisch (Germany) 14.38m/0
Jeanine Assani Issouf (France) 14.26m/3
Dariya Derkach (Italy) 13.92m/0