Golden Gala, Rome, 2 June 2016.
Caterine Ibarguen extended her 4 year unbeaten run to an incredible 34 competitions with victory in the Rome IAAF Diamond League Meeting tonight, however, it was far from a stroll in the park for the Colombian.
Jamaica’s Shanieka Thomas disappointed with her performance in Doha with 14.10m after leading the World Rankings in April, but she quickly made amends in Rome with 14.46m in Round 1. With Cuba’s Liadagmis Povea leaping a windy 14.33w and Ibarguen reaching 14.28m, Thomas entered Round 2 as event leader and recorded 14.34m to back-up her opener. Olympic Champion Olga Rypakova moved ahead though with her 2nd effort – 14.51m – while Ibarguen No Jumped to lie 4th going into Round 3. With only the top 4 jumpers progressing to 3 further jumps, and with a field of this experence and quality, a jump of 14.28m was probably never going to guarantee finishing in the top 4 places, and so it proved. Making her first appearance of the season, Commonwealth Champion Kimberly Williams leapt out to 14.38m with her 3rd jump to move into 3rd place behind her compatriot and push Ibarguen down to 5th in the process.
Not only did Ibarguen have to worry about her 3rd attempt, knowing she needed at least 14.33m to stay in the competition, but first of all she had to worry about other top jumpers outside the top 4 making a 3rd round move. Paraskevi Papachristou had a disappointing day with a best of 14.01m to finish 8th while ahead of her in 7th came the World Indoor Champion, Yulimar Rojas, who repeated her poor form from Rabat and could jump no further than her 14.09m opener. Equaling her season’s best with 14.18m in Round 2, Olha Saladukha could only muster 14.06m in Round 3, which meant Ibarguen remained 5th as she took the last jump of the event before the cut-off. With a 33-winnng streak to protect the Colombian World Champion showed just how strong a competitor she is as, not ony did she leap into the top 4, she took the lead jumping 14.64m into a slight headwind (-0.4m/s).
The last 4 rounds were once again a disappointment under the new Diamond League rules, with the athletes unaided by quick turnarounds and a lack of numeric competition. The only athlete who managed to improve was Ibarguen on her last attempt, knowledgeable that she was victorious, bounding out to 14.78m. Many of the day’s field will be present on Sunday for the 4th instalment of the Women’s Triple Jump Diamond Race in Birmingham. Can anyone stop Ibarguen, or has her determination since her London defeat in 2012 made her an unstoppable force in the event this year?
1. Caterine Ibarguen (Colombia) 14.78m (-0.1m/s)
2. Olga Rypakova (Kazakhstan) 14.51m (+0.7m/s)
3. Shanieka Thomas (Jamaica) 14.46m (+1.5m/s)
4. Kimberly Williams (Jamaica) 14.38m (-0.3m/s)
5. Liadagmis Povea (Cuba) 14.33w (+2.2m/s)
6. Olha Saladukha (Ukraine) 14.18m (0.0m/s)
7. Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela) 14.09m (0.0m/s)
8. Paraskevi Papachristou (Greece) 14.01m (-0.3m/s)
9. Dariya Derkach (Italy) 13.69m (-0.7m/s)
10. Simona La Mantia (Italy) 13.54m (+1.5m/s)
11. Jeanine Assani Issouf (France) 13.07m (-0.5m/s)
12. Kristin Gierisch (Germany) 12.19m (-0.5m/s)