Bislett Stadium, Oslo, Norway, 9 June 2016.
The 3rd instalment of the Men’s Triple Jump Diamond Race takes place as part of the Bislett Games on Thursday. Diamond Race Leader Christian Taylor sits this one out following his encouraging 7.96m Long Jump performance at the Birmingham Diamond League Meeting meeting on Sunday, meaning the spotlight turns to some of the event’s other leading lights and possible podium challengers in Rio.
Leading the line-up, based on 2016 performances, is American Chris Benard who improved his PB out to 17.19m last week in California. Benard showed good form over the winter and placed 3rd in the American Indoor Championships in March with 16.93m. However, a week later on the same track he could only place 11th at the World Indoor Championships with 16.15m. He started the outdoor season well, taking victory at the prestigious Drakes Relays, and will hope to demonstrate his class more impressively on the international stage in Oslo tomorrow. Fellow American Omar Craddock makes his 2nd Diamond League appearance of the season following his 17.15m season opener in Eugene, where he looked to have made a full recovery from the hamstring injury that hampered his World Indoor challenge.
Leading the challenge against an American dominance in Oslo is Guyana’s Troy Doris who has improved his PB out to 17.18m this year. Following a windy 17.10m opener in the Bahamas Invitational in April, when Doris was only defeated by 1cm by Christian Taylor’s last round jump, the South American is already assured of his Olympic berth and will look to make an impression in Oslo with Rio coming up fast on the horizon.
Germany’s Max Hess doesn’t turn 20 until next month, but with a World Indoor Silver medal already under his belt, and now jumping consistently around the 17 metre mark, the question seems to be how soon does he begin to challenge for global outdoor medals and dominance in the event? Following his indoor 17.14m PB in Portland, as well as a marginal foul there around the 17.40m mark, Hess has begun his outdoor season with 16.92m and 17.00w in his only 2 competitions so far.
Cuban Alexis Copello gained Diamond Race points in both Doha (3rd) and Eugene (6th) and, despite consistent jumping around 16.90m, will look to get back over 17 metres in Oslo. When Teddy Tamgho jumped 16.98m in the winter, on his return from achilles surgery last year it seemed that, against all odds, he could be pushing for a podium place in Rio. His outdoor form, however, has failed to show any progress on the winter. 7th place in Doha with 16.54m followed by 6th in Eugene with 16.51m indicates that unless he can hit 17 metres plus soon, French hopes at the Olympics may lie more realistically with his compatriots Harold Corréa and Benjamin Compaoré.
Former Olympic Champion, Nelson Évora, makes his 2016 Diamond League debut in Oslo still awaiting the kind of form that took him to bronze in Beijing last summer with 17.52m. Outdoors, so far this term, he has yet to better his indoor 16.89m from Portland that secured 4th spot in the World Indoors Championships. Commonwealth Champion Godfrey Khotso Mokoena completes the field with an outdoor best of 16.48m this year, a long way shy of his 2014 form that saw him post 17.20m in the Glasgow Games and his PB of 17.35m later that summer.
The Men’s Triple Jump takes place at 5.55pm (BST) with live coverage of the Oslo Diamond League Meeting on Eurosport2 from 7pm (BST).
Men’s Triple Jump line-up (with 2016 Best/ 2016 Diamond League points):
Chris Benard (USA) 17.19m/0
Troy Doris (Guyana) 17.18m/0
Omar Craddock (USA) 17.15m/4
Max Hess (Germany) 17.14i/0
Alexis Copello (Cuba) 16.99i/7
Teddy Tamgho (France) 16.98i/1
Nelson Évora (Portugal) 16.89i/0
Godfrey Khotso Mokoena (South Africa) 16.48m/0