Venezuelan successfully defends her world title with big jump in Doha as Olympic champion Ibarguen is third

Yulimar Rojas came into Doha as defending champion and with a huge 15.41m jump – the second-best in history – under her belt from earlier this season.

The Venezuelan sealed the title in emphatic style, too, with 15.37m (-0.6) in the second round from Shanieka Ricketts, the Jamaican jumping 14.92m, and Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia with 14.73m.

Rojas struggled with injury last year as Ibarguen took 2018 Diamond League titles in the triple jump and long jump.

But this year it was Olympic champion Ibarguen’s turn to have problems as she had surgery on her foot for plantar fasciitis in the middle of the summer.

Ibarguen, who has also won two world titles in the past, was not making excuses, though. “I’m grateful for being here and competing in the world champs,” the 35-year-old said. “And I’m happy to get to the podium. After the operation I had a good recovery and I congratulate my colleagues here.”

Rojas, 23, said: “I’m really happy to win this medal. This is the best thing that ever happened to me. I worked really hard and I’m happy to make this historical win in the world champs.”

On challenging Inessa Kravets’ long-standing world record of 15.55m, Rojas added: “The world record as I always say is something I want to achieve. I was close this year but I’m still young and have a long way ahead and will work next year to try to achieve it.”

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