06 MAR 2004 General News Tatyana Lebedeva, makes three world

Women Triple Jump Final

The rigours of the long jump qualifying round earlier in the day were not evident for Tatyana Lebedeva, as three world-record leaps resulted on this historic day in women's triple jumping. 

On her first jump, the Russian took all of the fun out of it for the others with a world-record-equalling 15.16.   And as if to say "not enough?", she added nine more centimeters on her next effort with a 15.25 for outright ownership, replacing Britain's Ashia Hansen as history's best.  A breath-restoring pass preceeded a 15.15, and to close out the competition after another pass, Lebedeva hit the jumping board with only a few millimetres to spare and came away with an astounding 15.36. 

It was the first time ever that multiple fifteen-metre jumps have been posted by the same athlete in an indoor competition, and the Russian accomplished it on each of her four attempts. 

The big question now is:  What will she have in store on Sunday for the long jump final?

Lebedeva's exploits overshadowed the other excellent efforts from other competitors, not the least of which was Cuban-born Yamile Aldama's African record 14.90 in her first global championships in Sudan colours to take the silver.  Paris finalist Hrysopiyi Devetzi of Greece was powerful in the middle rounds and came ended with the bronze with 14.73.

Trecia Smith of Jamaica had a career day, twice extending her Central America and Caribbean record and finishing with a fourth-place 14.71.
 
Italy's Magdelin Martinez, the second of three Cuban-born competitors in the final, ended up in fifth with 14.67, ahead of Birmingham silver medallist Francoise Mbango of Cameroon at 14.62.  Although perhaps small consolation, these were the best-ever marks for fifth and sixth place.