05 AUG 2012 Report

London 2012 - Event Report - Women's Triple Jump Final

Gold medalist Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan and bronze medalist Olha Saladuha pose afte competing in the Women's Triple Jump on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic on 5 August 2012 (Getty Images)Gold medalist Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan and bronze medalist Olha Saladuha pose afte competing in the Women's Triple Jump on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic on 5 August 2012 (Getty Images) © Copyright
The Triple Jump four years ago in Beijing proved to be one of the Games highlights where the top five jumpers all cleared over 15 metres but on this occasion it never hit those exciting heights.

Only 2011 World Championships silver medallist Olga Rypakova came close to hitting the milestone marker and the Kazakhstan athlete found that third round effort and season's best of 14.98m good enough to take home the gold medal.

Rypakova who as a rookie brilliantly set four National records with her fourth finish and 15.11m clearance in Beijing, won ahead of last year's World bronze medallist Caterine Ibarguen and Olha Saladuha, the champion in Daegu 12 months ago.

Saladuha in fourth place went into second position in the final round clearing 14.79m but her Colombian opponent who had been lying runner up, immediately responded with a silver lining clearance of 14.80m.

Thus for the first time since the discipline was introduced to the Olympic programme in 1996 there wasn't a 15m jump, although Rypakova's winning performance would have been if her lead foot had not been just off the jump board.

"I thought that to have a chance of winning I would have to jump more than 15 metres and I did my best," said Rypakova. "I did not expect to win, but deep in my heart I had a secret hope of winning."

Ibarguen competing with a strapped left thigh, said: "I could not compete as I wanted because I was not making a good take-off. I was just thinking I needed to get better with every jump."

The last gasp effort from World leader Saladuha saw her fellow Ukrainian Hanna Knyazeva who led briefly in the second round with her furthest effort of 14.56m, pushed out of a podium placing.

Saladuha also bandaged below her right knee, said: "Before the competition I hurt my right leg and at first I did not want to come to the Olympic Games but in the end I have it a go.

"After the qualification I was hoping my leg would hold up enough to do well in the final. My leg was hurting and in the end I am very happy with this result.

The 2012 World leader added: "I wanted to take gold. It was my big dream." The 29-year-old, insisted: "I will win gold at the next Games in Rio.

Tatyana Lebedeva the 36-year-old legendary Russian performer after claiming two silver and one bronze medals at past Games failed in her bid to finally lift a gold, producing a best effort of just 14.11m.

Lebedeva of her future and her last ever Olympic Games appearance, revealed: "I have decided to retire. Yesterday, in qualifying, I felt a little pain in my left calf. I saw the physio and massage, but today, warming up, I felt pain again.

"I decided to focus on my first attempt, but after jumping I felt more pain. I was worried, I found it hard to concentrate on my jumps.

The superstar admitted: "Every Olympic Games I have more and more experience and wisdom, but my health is down and down. I've decided I want to help younger athletes and pass on my experience to them."

Another veteran 39-year-old Yamile Aldama also failed to add to the World Championships Indoor title she gained in March finishing fifth with a final round clearance of 14.48m.

David Martin for IAAF