Pedro Pablo Pichardo was crowned triple jump world champion this morning. The Portuguese who wanted to cheer had to do so overnight, as the time difference to the United States dictated, and the Portuguese athlete gave birth to this night in jumps, with a mark of 17.95 meters.
To illustrate the dominance of Portuguese, which “crushed” the competition, there is a clear fact: even Pichardo’s worst jump (among those that were valid) would have been enough to take the silver medal and the second worst jump would give gold.
This is Pichardo’s first world gold, which improves on the two silvers he won in 2013 and 2015 – at the time, still representing Cuba, the country where he was born. And what he had not achieved as a Caribbean, he also failed as a Portuguese, in 2019. For Portugal, which wins the first medal in these World Cups, this is the second world title in the triple jump, with Pichardo replicating the feat of Nélson Évora in 2007 .
It is true that the great opponent should be Jordan Díaz Fortún, absent from these World Cups, but the fact is that the Portuguese is, at the moment, master of almost all of Olympus of the triple jump: he is the Olympic champion, he is the champion of the world in the air and only the indoor title escaped him four months ago.
And at the time it escaped to an athlete who in this final didn’t go beyond… three null trials. Lázaro Martínez, in theory Pichardo’s main rival, sank himself and didn’t even reach the final rounds of jumps in this final.
There was, therefore, a clear path not only for the Portuguese, but also for Hugues Fabrice Zango, from Burkina Faso, who took the silver (17.55 meters), and the Chinese Yaming Zhu, who took the bronze (17.31 meters). ).
Start and finish on the first jump
As far as how Pichardo got to gold, there’s not much to say. In short, the Luso-Cuban did something as simple as sealing the world title in the first jump.
Luís Lopes, commentator on RTP, pointed it out even before it was known that Pichardo had jumped 17.95 meters. “The world champion seems to be found”, he predicted, as soon as the jumper landed on Eugene’s sand, after a tremendous call, a good push and, above all, a great pass in the second phase of the jump. With all this, the athletics expert’s prophecy could not fail.
Pichardo had just made the best world mark of the year and only a tremendous level of overcoming his opponents would prevent him from taking “A Portuguesa” to the podium.
The athlete himself would know, of course, that he had the title “in his pocket” and could face the rest of the competition with relative tranquility – the objective, more than gold, was to fight himself and try to overcome the 18 meters and, eventually, , reach some record – national or world. None of these goals arose in the United States.
Pichardo started by jumping 17.92 meters and 17.57 meters, marks that would allow either of them to reach gold. Clearly and calmly qualified for the last rounds of jumps, Pichardo was, from then on, the last to jump in the last three attempts.
He gave up the first, scored a null in the second and jumped 17.51 meters in the third, and the Portuguese’s discontent with such a modest mark was even visible. – and “modest” is, in Pichardo, the impossible for most athletes.
The popular saying that the last are the first had nexus in this test. Pichardo was the last athlete to be featured in Eugene, but he is the one who goes home with gold on his chest. And, in good Portuguese, it was “without pimples”.
The other Portuguese in the competition, Tiago Pereira, ended up not being able to qualify for the final jumping rounds and takes tenth place from the World Championships. He started the contest with a null test, before two modest marks: 16.69 meters and 16.59 – both below the Portuguese’s best mark this year, which was 16.90 meters.