Yamile Aldama (Getty Images)
Yamile Aldama (Getty Images)
  • COUNTRY Great Britain & N.I. Great Britain & N.I.
  • DATE OF BIRTH 14 AUG 1972


Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.


Updated 28 February 2008

Yamilé ALDAMA, Sudan (Triple Jump)

Born 14 August 1972, Havana; 1.73m / 62 kg. 

Based in London. Represents Sudan (citizen since January 2004).

Married to Andrew Dodds. Child Amil born 2001.

Coach: Frank Attoh
 
Sixth of seven children (four boys, three girls)


Yamilé Aldama, a former Cuban, now a Sudanese, is one of several formidable African women in the triple jump. For a continent more accustomed to exporting athletic talent than importing it, she is a welcome addition

Aldama started competitive athletics in primary school at the age of 12. Two of her brothers participated in boxing and wrestling. She soon entered a sports school, where she proved to be a good high jumper and her first international success came in the 1988 Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships, in Nassau, Bahamas, where she won high jump gold.

Thinking she was not tall enough for the high jump, Aldama tried the heptathlon for two seasons, winning the event at the 1993 Barrientos Memorial and improving her high jump PB to 1.88. But women's triple jumping had been introduced in Cuba in 1991 and Aldama tried it in 1994, jumping 13.92m.

Two years later, Aldama gained her first international success in the event, winning gold (14.39) at the 1996 Ibero-American Championships in Medellin, Colombia. Later that year she leapt 14.43 and made the Olympic team for Atlanta but was unable to participate because of injury.

In 1997 Aldama claimed her first national triple jump title and finished 6th at the World Indoor Championships in Paris (14.28). She also took the silver medal (14.12) at the Central American and Caribbean Championships in San Juan. However, she did not qualify for the outdoor World Championships final in Athens (14.09).

More victories followed in 1998. She reached 14.55, just 0.05m short of the national record, and successfully defended her Ibero-American title in Lisbon (14.07). She also won gold (14.34) in the inaugural women’s triple jump in the Central American and Caribbean Games in Maracaibo, Venezuela, going on to finish 3rd (14.29) at the 1998 World Cup in Johannesburg.

Aldama’s breakthrough came in 1999. After finishing 7th at the World Indoor Championships in Maebashi, Japan (14.47), she equalled the national record (14.60) in claiming her third national title in May and improved the record to 14.77 in winning the Pan American Games in Winnipeg two months later. In August, she took the silver medal (14.61) at the World Championships in Seville but did not improve in the Olympic year, although she finished a respectable 4th in Sydney (14.30).

A few indoor meetings (13.95 best) in 2001 preceded a maternity break. Aldama married Andrew Dodds, a Scotsman, and moved to London, where she gave birth to Amil in September. Unable to represent Cuba, as she was based abroad, she hoped to compete for Britain in 2003, but a three-year waiting period meant she could not gain a passport in time to compete in the World Championships or Olympic Games. Come 2004 she would switch to Sudan.

In the meantime, in 2003, after a period of training in Havana, Aldama topped the 15 metres mark for the first time, in Ostrava in June, becoming the first non-European and 11th woman to do so. Having accomplished it once, she managed it four more times in the next four weeks, winning Golden League meetings in Oslo and Rome, where she recorded a PB 15.29 to claim the No.3 spot on the all-time list and No2 in the IAAF World Rankings.

Backing up the 15.29 with a 15.27 win in London in August, but unable to participate in the World Championships in Paris, Aldama ended her season with 2nd place at the World Athletics Final in Monaco (14.99). In all, she recorded 13 marks in the 2003 outdoor season, 10 at 14.98 or better.

In January 2004, Aldama gained a Sudanese passport and was free to compete in international competitions once again. At the World Indoor Championships, in Budapest, she set an African record of 14.90 in the second round to claim the silver medal, behind Russia's Tatyana Lebedeva. Outdoors, Aldama improved the continental standard to 15.21 in Rethymno, Greece, in June, won the African Championship in Brazzaville in July (14.90), and extended the African record again (15.28) in Linz, Austria, on August 2.

Aldama, still not 100 per cent fit, insisted after her jump in Linz that she could have broken the world record, which stands at 15.50m, set 12 years ago by Inessa Kravets, from Ukraine, when winning the World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. "I'm still lacking in speed because I've been troubled with a hamstring injury in my right take-off leg,” Aldama had said in Linz, “It's not fully recovered, but tonight I felt no ill effects. I'm sure it is going to be alright at the Olympic Games."

Famous last words. In swirling winds on the day of the final, many jumpers had trouble hitting the board. In the second round, to avoid fouling, Aldama popped a 14.90 jump from about 30cm behind the board and improved to 14.99 in the fourth round, which briefly put her in medal territory. But, going for broke in the fifth round, she suddenly aborted her jump, clutching her hamstring, and that was that. She wound up a frustrated 5th and closed the season with third place at the World Athletics Final in Monaco.

Aldama missed out on a podium place at the 2005 World Championships, in Helsinki, by just 11cm to her former countrywoman, Yargelis Savigne. She closed 2005 with a best of 14.82, the first time in three years that she had finished a season under 15 metres.

Aldama started the 2006 season with her second consecutive medal at the World Indoor Championships, this time bronze in Moscow, with a season’s best of 14.86. Outdoors, she successfully defended her African title, in Mauritius, and then improved to 14.67 for third spot at the 2006 World Athletics Final in Stuttgart. A week later, she sealed the season with a year of best of 14.78 and repeated her 1998 third-place finish from Johannesburg at the World Cup in Athens.

Aldama has been busy taking care of her six-year old boy and did not compete that often in 2007. As a preparation for Osaka, she claimed her first All Africa Games crown in Algiers. However, in the Japanese city she produced a poor 13.46 and could not qualify to in the final.

At the end of the season, Aldama competed in the Pan Aran Games, in Cairo, winning two silver medals in events other than “her” triple jump, which she had entered to help her adoptive country increase its medal tally.

In a team whose brightest star was young 800m runner Abubaker Kaki, one of the four athletes to achieve double gold in Cairo, Aldama had to be content with double silver in the long jump (6.05) and high jump (1.77, the same height as the winner).
 
Indoors in 2008, she has only competed once this winter, when third (14.20) at the SEAT meeting in Paris. However, she knows when to peak at the right time and, in Valencia, looks forward to her third consecutive World Indoor Championships medal. Valencia will be her fifth World Indoor Championships.


Personal Bests

Triple jump: 15.29 (2003), 14.90i (2004)


Yearly Progression

2000- 14.47; 2001-13.85i; 2002-14.40/14.54w; 2003-15.29 AR; 2004-15.28/14.90i;
2005 - 14.82; 2006-14.86i / 14.67; 2007-14.58; 2008-14.20i.


Career Highlights

1996 1st  Ibero-American Championships
1997 6th  World Indoor Championships
1998 1st  Ibero-American Championships
1998 1st  Central American and Caribbean Games
1998 3rd  World Cup, Johannesburg
1999 7th  World Indoor Championships
1999 1st  Pan American Games
1999 2nd  World Championships
2000 4th  Olympic Games
2003 2nd  World Athletics Final
2004 2nd  World Indoor Championships
2004 2nd  World Indoor Championships
2004 1st  African Championships
2004 5th  Olympic Games
2004 3rd  World Athletics Final
2005 4th  World Championships
2005 6th  World Athletics Final
2006 3rd  World Indoor Championships
2006 1st  African Championships
2006 3rd  World Athletics Final
2006 3rd  World Cup 
2007 1st  All Africa Games
 

Prepared by Chris Robinson for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008.

Personal Best - Outdoor
Performance Wind Place Date
High Jump 1.88 London 19 JUL 2003
High Jump 1.88 La Habana 13 MAY 1992
Long Jump 6.34 -1.9 Amman 18 MAY 2007
Triple Jump 15.29 +0.3 Roma (Stadio Olimpico) 11 JUL 2003
Heptathlon 5246 01 JAN 1993
Personal Best - Indoor
Performance Wind Place Date
Long Jump 6.17 Valencia 11 FEB 2006
Triple Jump 14.90 Budapest (SA) 06 MAR 2004
Progression - Outdoor showShow All Graphs
High Jump Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2004 1.85 London 18 JUL
2003 1.88 London 19 JUL
1992 1.88 La Habana 13 MAY
Long Jump Show Graphshow
Performance Wind Place Date
2007 6.34 -1.9 Amman 18 MAY
1995 6.13 01 JAN
Triple Jump Show Graphshow
Performance Wind Place Date
2013 14.06 +1.5 Eugene, OR 01 JUN
2012 14.65 -0.3 Roma (Stadio Olimpico) 31 MAY
2011 14.50 +0.4 Daegu 01 SEP
2009 14.48 +0.6 Haniá 01 JUN
2008 14.51 +0.8 Réthimno 14 JUL
2007 14.58 0.0 Kalamáta 02 JUN
2006 14.78 +1.0 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 16 SEP
2005 14.82 +0.8 Berlin 04 SEP
2004 15.28 +0.3 Linz 02 AUG
2003 15.29 +0.3 Roma (Stadio Olimpico) 11 JUL
2002 14.40 +0.6 Birmingham 13 JUL
2000 14.47 +2.0 Hanía 14 JUN
1999 14.77 +1.2 Winnipeg 28 JUL
1998 14.55 +1.0 La Habana 02 AUG
1997 14.46 -0.4 Saint-Denis 02 JUN
1996 14.43 +0.9 La Habana 16 FEB
1995 13.84 +1.2 La Habana 01 JUL
1994 13.92 +0.7 La Habana 24 JUN
Heptathlon Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
1993 5246 01 JAN
Progression - Indoor showShow All Graphs
Long Jump Show Graphshow
Performance Wind Place Date
2006 6.17 Valencia 11 FEB
Triple Jump Show Graphshow
Performance Wind Place Date
2013 13.95 Göteborg (Scandinavium) 03 MAR
2012 14.82 Istanbul 10 MAR
2010 12.41 Doha 12 MAR
2009 14.27 Pireás 25 FEB
2008 14.47 Valencia, ESP 08 MAR
2006 14.86 Moskva (Olimpiyskiy Stadion) 11 MAR
2005 13.95 Karlsruhe 13 FEB
2004 14.90 Budapest (SA) 06 MAR
2003 14.88 Karlsruhe 28 FEB
2001 13.85 Pireás 25 FEB
2000 14.30 Karlsruhe 29 JAN
1999 14.47 Maebashi 07 MAR
1998 14.24 Stuttgart 01 FEB
1997 14.28 Paris-Bercy (Palais Omnisports) 08 MAR
Honours - Triple Jump
Rank Mark Wind Place Date
The XXX Olympic Games 5 14.48 -0.6 London (OP) 05 AUG 2012
IAAF World Indoor Championships 2012 1 14.82 Istanbul 10 MAR 2012
13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 5 14.50 +0.4 Daegu 01 SEP 2011
13th IAAF World Indoor Championships 19q1 12.41 Doha 12 MAR 2010
IAAF/VTB Bank World Athletics Final 4 14.39 -1.0 Thessaloniki 13 SEP 2009
12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 6q1 14.11 +0.1 Berlin 15 AUG 2009
The XXIX Olympic Games q2 NM Beijing (National Stadium) 15 AUG 2008
12th IAAF World Indoor Championships 5 14.47 Valencia, ESP 08 MAR 2008
5th IAAF World Athletics Final 4 14.41 +0.3 Stuttgart 23 SEP 2007
11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 12q2 13.46 -0.2 Osaka 29 AUG 2007
10th IAAF World Cup 3 14.78 +1.0 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 16 SEP 2006
4th IAAF World Athletics Final 3 14.67 -0.1 Stuttgart 10 SEP 2006
11th IAAF World Indoor Championships 3 14.86 Moskva (Olimpiyskiy Stadion) 11 MAR 2006
3rd IAAF World Athletics Final 6 14.26 +0.8 Monaco 10 SEP 2005
10th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 4 14.72 +0.8 Helsinki 07 AUG 2005
2nd IAAF World Athletics Final 3 14.92 +0.2 Monaco 19 SEP 2004
28th Olympic Games 5 14.99 -0.1 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 23 AUG 2004
10th IAAF World Indoor Championships 2 14.90 Budapest (SA) 06 MAR 2004
1st IAAF World Athletics Final 2 14.99 +0.1 Monaco 13 SEP 2003
27th Olympic Games 4 14.30 -0.9 Sydney 24 SEP 2000
IAAF Grand Prix Final 7 14.18 -0.2 München 11 SEP 1999
7th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 2 14.61 -0.4 Sevilla 24 AUG 1999
7th IAAF World Indoor Championships 7 14.47 Maebashi 07 MAR 1999
8th IAAF World Cup in Athetics 3 14.29 +0.6 Johannesburg 11 SEP 1998
6th IAAF World Championships In Athletics 5q2 14.09 0.0 Athína 02 AUG 1997
6th IAAF World Indoor Championships 6 14.28 Paris-Bercy (Palais Omnisports) 08 MAR 1997
XXVI Olympic Games q2 DNS Atlanta, GA 29 JUL 1996


Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.


Updated 28 February 2008

Yamilé ALDAMA, Sudan (Triple Jump)

Born 14 August 1972, Havana; 1.73m / 62 kg. 

Based in London. Represents Sudan (citizen since January 2004).

Married to Andrew Dodds. Child Amil born 2001.

Coach: Frank Attoh
 
Sixth of seven children (four boys, three girls)


Yamilé Aldama, a former Cuban, now a Sudanese, is one of several formidable African women in the triple jump. For a continent more accustomed to exporting athletic talent than importing it, she is a welcome addition

Aldama started competitive athletics in primary school at the age of 12. Two of her brothers participated in boxing and wrestling. She soon entered a sports school, where she proved to be a good high jumper and her first international success came in the 1988 Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships, in Nassau, Bahamas, where she won high jump gold.

Thinking she was not tall enough for the high jump, Aldama tried the heptathlon for two seasons, winning the event at the 1993 Barrientos Memorial and improving her high jump PB to 1.88. But women's triple jumping had been introduced in Cuba in 1991 and Aldama tried it in 1994, jumping 13.92m.

Two years later, Aldama gained her first international success in the event, winning gold (14.39) at the 1996 Ibero-American Championships in Medellin, Colombia. Later that year she leapt 14.43 and made the Olympic team for Atlanta but was unable to participate because of injury.

In 1997 Aldama claimed her first national triple jump title and finished 6th at the World Indoor Championships in Paris (14.28). She also took the silver medal (14.12) at the Central American and Caribbean Championships in San Juan. However, she did not qualify for the outdoor World Championships final in Athens (14.09).

More victories followed in 1998. She reached 14.55, just 0.05m short of the national record, and successfully defended her Ibero-American title in Lisbon (14.07). She also won gold (14.34) in the inaugural women’s triple jump in the Central American and Caribbean Games in Maracaibo, Venezuela, going on to finish 3rd (14.29) at the 1998 World Cup in Johannesburg.

Aldama’s breakthrough came in 1999. After finishing 7th at the World Indoor Championships in Maebashi, Japan (14.47), she equalled the national record (14.60) in claiming her third national title in May and improved the record to 14.77 in winning the Pan American Games in Winnipeg two months later. In August, she took the silver medal (14.61) at the World Championships in Seville but did not improve in the Olympic year, although she finished a respectable 4th in Sydney (14.30).

A few indoor meetings (13.95 best) in 2001 preceded a maternity break. Aldama married Andrew Dodds, a Scotsman, and moved to London, where she gave birth to Amil in September. Unable to represent Cuba, as she was based abroad, she hoped to compete for Britain in 2003, but a three-year waiting period meant she could not gain a passport in time to compete in the World Championships or Olympic Games. Come 2004 she would switch to Sudan.

In the meantime, in 2003, after a period of training in Havana, Aldama topped the 15 metres mark for the first time, in Ostrava in June, becoming the first non-European and 11th woman to do so. Having accomplished it once, she managed it four more times in the next four weeks, winning Golden League meetings in Oslo and Rome, where she recorded a PB 15.29 to claim the No.3 spot on the all-time list and No2 in the IAAF World Rankings.

Backing up the 15.29 with a 15.27 win in London in August, but unable to participate in the World Championships in Paris, Aldama ended her season with 2nd place at the World Athletics Final in Monaco (14.99). In all, she recorded 13 marks in the 2003 outdoor season, 10 at 14.98 or better.

In January 2004, Aldama gained a Sudanese passport and was free to compete in international competitions once again. At the World Indoor Championships, in Budapest, she set an African record of 14.90 in the second round to claim the silver medal, behind Russia's Tatyana Lebedeva. Outdoors, Aldama improved the continental standard to 15.21 in Rethymno, Greece, in June, won the African Championship in Brazzaville in July (14.90), and extended the African record again (15.28) in Linz, Austria, on August 2.

Aldama, still not 100 per cent fit, insisted after her jump in Linz that she could have broken the world record, which stands at 15.50m, set 12 years ago by Inessa Kravets, from Ukraine, when winning the World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. "I'm still lacking in speed because I've been troubled with a hamstring injury in my right take-off leg,” Aldama had said in Linz, “It's not fully recovered, but tonight I felt no ill effects. I'm sure it is going to be alright at the Olympic Games."

Famous last words. In swirling winds on the day of the final, many jumpers had trouble hitting the board. In the second round, to avoid fouling, Aldama popped a 14.90 jump from about 30cm behind the board and improved to 14.99 in the fourth round, which briefly put her in medal territory. But, going for broke in the fifth round, she suddenly aborted her jump, clutching her hamstring, and that was that. She wound up a frustrated 5th and closed the season with third place at the World Athletics Final in Monaco.

Aldama missed out on a podium place at the 2005 World Championships, in Helsinki, by just 11cm to her former countrywoman, Yargelis Savigne. She closed 2005 with a best of 14.82, the first time in three years that she had finished a season under 15 metres.

Aldama started the 2006 season with her second consecutive medal at the World Indoor Championships, this time bronze in Moscow, with a season’s best of 14.86. Outdoors, she successfully defended her African title, in Mauritius, and then improved to 14.67 for third spot at the 2006 World Athletics Final in Stuttgart. A week later, she sealed the season with a year of best of 14.78 and repeated her 1998 third-place finish from Johannesburg at the World Cup in Athens.

Aldama has been busy taking care of her six-year old boy and did not compete that often in 2007. As a preparation for Osaka, she claimed her first All Africa Games crown in Algiers. However, in the Japanese city she produced a poor 13.46 and could not qualify to in the final.

At the end of the season, Aldama competed in the Pan Aran Games, in Cairo, winning two silver medals in events other than “her” triple jump, which she had entered to help her adoptive country increase its medal tally.

In a team whose brightest star was young 800m runner Abubaker Kaki, one of the four athletes to achieve double gold in Cairo, Aldama had to be content with double silver in the long jump (6.05) and high jump (1.77, the same height as the winner).
 
Indoors in 2008, she has only competed once this winter, when third (14.20) at the SEAT meeting in Paris. However, she knows when to peak at the right time and, in Valencia, looks forward to her third consecutive World Indoor Championships medal. Valencia will be her fifth World Indoor Championships.


Personal Bests

Triple jump: 15.29 (2003), 14.90i (2004)


Yearly Progression

2000- 14.47; 2001-13.85i; 2002-14.40/14.54w; 2003-15.29 AR; 2004-15.28/14.90i;
2005 - 14.82; 2006-14.86i / 14.67; 2007-14.58; 2008-14.20i.


Career Highlights

1996 1st  Ibero-American Championships
1997 6th  World Indoor Championships
1998 1st  Ibero-American Championships
1998 1st  Central American and Caribbean Games
1998 3rd  World Cup, Johannesburg
1999 7th  World Indoor Championships
1999 1st  Pan American Games
1999 2nd  World Championships
2000 4th  Olympic Games
2003 2nd  World Athletics Final
2004 2nd  World Indoor Championships
2004 2nd  World Indoor Championships
2004 1st  African Championships
2004 5th  Olympic Games
2004 3rd  World Athletics Final
2005 4th  World Championships
2005 6th  World Athletics Final
2006 3rd  World Indoor Championships
2006 1st  African Championships
2006 3rd  World Athletics Final
2006 3rd  World Cup 
2007 1st  All Africa Games
 

Prepared by Chris Robinson for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008.