Sunday 20 September, 2020

Shanieka Ricketts wins Diamond League triple jump title and US$50,000

Jamaica's Shanieka Ricketts.

Jamaica's Shanieka Ricketts.

Shanieka Ricketts produced a thrilling upset win over world champion Yulimar Rojas in the women's triple jump to win her first IAAF Diamond League title on Thursday at the first of two Diamond League finals at the Letzigrund Stadium in Weltklasse, Zurich.

For the victory, Ricketts earned a Diamond Trophy and its accompanying US$50,000 winner’s top prize.

Opening with a 14.58m effort, the Jamaican champion took command of the competition with a 14.72m leap in round three, just five centimetres shy of her career-best. Rojas, who opened with a 14.60m leap in round one, then played catch up, producing an inconsistent series that played well into Ricketts’ hands.

The Venezuelan came through however in the sixth round, reaching 14.74m, to wrestle back a narrow lead. But Ricketts was undaunted. Digging deep, she exploded off the board and leaped out to 14.93m, smashing her career-best and moving up to No. 2 on the 2019 world list.

“Before the last jump I knew that I had a chance and needed to take that chance,” said Ricketts, a finalist at the last two World Championships. For Doha, she said, her goal is a medal. “I do not care about the colour, I just need a medal.”

Liadagmis Povea of Cuba was a distant third with 14.49m.

Kimberly Williams, the other Jamaican in the final, finished seventh with a mark of 14.10m.





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