16 SEP 2006 General News

Women's Triple Jump

Greece’s Chrisopiyi Devetzi who had taken the Olympic silver in this stadium two years ago opened well with a World Cup record of 15.04m. Yet the joy of the crowd lasted only eight jumps as jumping second of the nine competitors Russia Tatyana Lebedeva, who had leapt 14.51m on her first attempt, sailed to 15.13m with her next effort.

The next to jump in round two, Devetzi had the crowd pounding their feet and clapping their hands in rhythm to her approach to the board, and a huge roar went out as on the huge stadium screen it showed she had hit the sand beyond the Russian’s best. However, quiet quickly descended again when the video replay showed the Greek’s take-off foot had planted securely on top of the plasticine; foul!

And that was the competition for the top-two places decided. Short but exceptionally sweet, with all the heady atmosphere provided by the home crowd support we had experienced two years before when Greece had taken runners-up spot on the same runway.

“The crowd gave me a lot of power and helped me. Today in my mind came memories of the Olympic Games,” said Devetzi (second – 8pts), who after two fouls also jumped 15.02m in the last round.

And the winner for Russia, Lebedeva (9pts) – “After the first good jump, I knew I could go further but my technique wasn’t very good.” Her second best effort of the day was 14.98m.

For Africa Yamilé Aladma jumped 14.78m for third (7pts).

Chris Turner