Despite missing out on a medal in Seville, when she finished fourth, and on the gold in Sydney, when she took the silver, Russia’s Tatyana LEBEDEVA will start in Edmonton as the clear favourite. She not only leads the world this year, with 14.91m, but owns the next three best jumps, all more than 14.80m, and seven of the best ten efforts of the season.
In particular, she will want to avenge her Olympic defeat at the hands of Bulgaria’s Tereza MARINOVA when she got the worst of a rain-affected final. However, MARINOVA, who has produced the second best jump this year at 14.74m, will fancy her chances again, having repeated her Olympic triumph at this year’s World Indoor Championships in Lisbon, and at the Grand Prix meeting in Seville in June.
While the battle for the ultimate prize is likely to be between these two, a whole cluster of other triple jumpers could be in the running for minor medals, including Cameroon’s Françoise MBANGO, who lies third on this year’s world list with 14.65m, equal to her personal best; Yelena OLEYNIKOVA, who was second to LEBEDEVA in the Russian championships; Ukraine’s Olympic bronze medallist Yelena GOVOROVA, who remains a threat despite being below her best in 2001; and Romania’s Cristina NICOLAU who won the recent Francophone Games in Ottawa with 14.62m, ahead of MBANGO’s 14.56m.