Athletics-Rojas collects third straight triple jump world title

By Amy Tennery

EUGENE, Ore. (Reuters) -Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas underlined her status as queen of the triple jump on Monday after the Olympic champion jumped 15.47 metres to win a third straight world title.

Jamaican Shanieka Ricketts collected her second consecutive world silver with a best of 14.89m on the first try, leaping from the sand on her final attempt and running to the stands to hug her supporters.

“This is a special competition for me,” said Rojas.

“It still hasn’t sunk in yet. I wanted a longer jump, but I am happy to return to this beautiful stadium, to see the crowd.”

American Tori Franklin took bronze, the United States’ first world medal in the women’s event, to the delight of the home crowd in Eugene, Oregon.

“It has been long and tough couple of years for me,” said Franklin, who failed to make the final at the Tokyo Olympics.

“I have gone through a lot and I am happy that I am finally competing to the best of my ability. It is so tough right now in our event because Rojas is just amazing jumper.

“Shanieka always comes with this energy. So I feel really blessed right now to be among these special women.”

Rojas, who bettered her own world record in March with 15.74m and is the first woman to win the triple jump outdoor championship three times, smiled broadly as the Venezuelan national anthem played at Hayward Field.

Rojas has set a goal to breach the 16m mark but after whipping up the crowd for her final attempt on Monday she finished well short.

“I came with the goal to get closer to my world record,” she told reporters. “The wind affected my run-up. I tried to adjust, but the most important thing was to win the medal and stay consistent over 15m.”

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in Eugene, Oregon; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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