Triple Jump winner Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan came oh so close to completing an unprecedented double at the IAAF / VTB Bank Continental Cup as the Asian record holder found herself solidly in the lead in today’s Long Jump final when the order was reverted for the fourth and final round.
In a remake of yesterday’s event, Rypakova opened with her best of the day at 6.60m, a season’s best for the Triple Jump World Indoor champion and a performance which no-one was able to match, up until the final round that is!
As the 8-woman field was preparing to take their final jump, Rypakova was leading ahead of European silver medallist Naide Gomes of Portugal (6.52) and Yargelis Savigne of Cuba (6.50).
Standing in fifth, Yuliya Tarasova of Uzbekistan competing for Asia/Pacific was the first one to shake the standings and what a shaking she did, her 6.70 fourth round effort taking her right up in the lead.
Next up was European champion Ineta Radevica who also saved her best for last although her 6.55m jump moved her up only into third.
Triple Jump World and Olympic champion Savigne who could only manage a disappointing third for Team Americas in her strongest event yesterday found herself down into fifth but such is the Cuban’s pride she wasn’t going to accept defeat so easy.
Savigne jumped big but as the mark showed on the screen just not big enough her 6.63m, performance putting her in second.
Early leaders Rypakova and Gomes suddenly found themselves in third and fifth respectively and with either of them able to respond to the late challenge, the standings would not change. Asian champion Tarasova could finally celebrate winning her first major global title.
“It's so unexpected but it makes this win even more special,” she said. “It's nice to win for the team and to be a part of such a big event.”
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF