Updated 28 February 2008
Osniel TOSCA Rodriguez, Cuba (Triple Jump)
Born 30 June 1984 Santa Clara, Villa Clara; 1.78m/60kg
Coach: Ricardo Ponce
It took a few years for Osniel Tosca to make his name known in athletics but now he carries the highest responsibility to extend Cuba’s success in the triple jump at the 12th IAAF World Indoor Championships in Valencia.
Tosca emerged on the scene as a promising athlete in Cuba and soon enjoyed international success, clinching the bronze medal, at 17, in the 2001 World Youth Championships, in Debrecen, Hungary. One year later, he was second at the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships, in Bridgetown, and seventh at the World Junior Championships, in Kingston.
In his first year as a senior (2004), Tosca joined the 17m club but lost the national Olympics gold to the 2003 World Championships silver medallist, Yoandri Betanzos, by 0.01cm in the last round. He made the IAAF A standard to compete in the 2004 Olympics and the 2005 World Championships but was not selected as Cuba opted for more experienced jumpers.
After a below par season, Tosca ended 2006 on a high note, winning the NACAC (North American, Central American and Caribbean) Under-23 title in Santo Domingo with a season’s best of 17.01. Tosca finally made the much-awaited breakthrough in 2007.
In the winter of 2007, Tosca made a successful indoor debut with a PB of 17.25. Then he flew to 17.52 outdoors, a massive improvement, at the 2nd ALBA Games in Caracas, on May 12. Ten days earlier, he had defeated the 2005 world champion Walter Davis, of the United States, in Guadeloupe. In Europe, he stayed consistent and showed his competitiveness to finish second at the Golden Gala (Golden League) meeting in Rome.
Despite unfavourable conditions, Tosca grabbed his first significant senior international medal with the silver behind Brazil’s Jadel Gregorio in the Pan American Games, in Rio de Janeiro, in July. He made a great debut at the World Championships, in Osaka, where he missed the bronze medal by just one centimetre.
Indoors, Tosca has been consistent in his three outings of the 2008 winter and proved he is ready for a medal after his 17.12m win in Gent on February 24.
There has been at least one Cuban on the podium in the last three editions of the championships so it is time for Tosca to deliver and maintain the successful tradition in Valencia.
17.52 (2007), 17.25i (2007)
2000 - 15.14; 2001 - 16.05; 2002 - 16.45; 2003 - 16.61; 2004 - 17.17; 2005 - 17.08; 2006 - 17.01; 2007 - 17.52; 2008 - 17.12.
2001 3rd World Youth Championships
2002 2nd Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships
2002 7th World Junior Championships
2006 1st North American, Central American and Caribbean Under-23
2007 2nd Pan American Games
2007 4th World Championships
Prepared by Javier Clavelo for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008.