World indoor champion
Triple jumper Yamile Aldama believes she will have to leap further than she has for eight years to win gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The 39-year-old world indoor champion thinks she will need to jump beyond 15 metres to crown her long career with victory in London.
She jumped a personal best of 15.29m in 2003 when she represented Cuba, where she was born, and last went beyond 15 metres in 2004 after switching allegiance to compete for Sudan.
“Fifteen metres-plus is what I think will win the medal in London,” said Aldama, who finished fourth at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and fifth at the Athens Games in 2004.
The Beijing Olympics witnessed the highest-quality triple jump final of all time. On that occasion Francoise Mbango successfully defended her title with an Olympic record of 15.39m. In that final it took 15.23m to win a medal, while six women in total broke 15 metres.
Mbango will not be in London. Instead Aldama’s main opposition will come from the likes of world champion Olga Saladukha and Colombia’s Caterine Ibargüen, winner of the past two Diamond League meetings.
Aldama finished fifth at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu before taking gold at this year’s World Indoor Championships with a leap of 14.82m – her best jump for six years and a world veterans record.
In her first competition of this summer, Aldama leapt a season’s best of 14.65m at the Rome Diamond League but landed awkwardly on her shoulder.
She insists that she has now recovered from that injury and in her final competition before the Games she leapt 14.37m to finish third at the London Diamond League.
“I just need to get used to landing on my non-injured (left) shoulder,” she said. “I am just training hard to achieve that before the Olympics.”
She is motivated to perform well at London 2012 after waiting for eight years to be eligible to represent Great Britain.
“The triple jump is an individual sport,” she said. “It is about me and it is about practice. Training very hard and being prepared is the main important thing, and that is what I have to do.”