Teddy Tamgho of France with World indoor record scoreboard in Doha (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Doha, Qatar

Doha 2010 - Tamgho triples to 17.90 World Indoor record! - UPDATED

Capping a thrilling Triple Jump competition, Teddy Tamgho of France set a new World indoor record of 17.90m to clinch the gold medal at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships at the Aspire Dome in Doha.

Tamgho's final round effort broke* the mark of 17.83 shared by Aliecer Urrutia of Cuba and Christian Olsson of Sweden. Urrutia set the mark in 1997 and Olsson equalled it at the 2004 World Indoor Championships in Budapest.

Sometimes one has to wait until the end of the event for making statements. The men’s Triple Jump final seemed to be over after some sparkling jumping in round one, but the action finally came back to the same level and went a lot further too during the last two rounds. Tamgho, the 20-year-old Frenchman who jumped a marvellous 17.58m result indoors in 2009, but then didn’t come close to this result outdoors, seemed to surprise everyone with a 17.41m first jump adding 16 centimetres to his previous season’s best.

Tamgho’s mark was also the world leader surpassing Italian Fabrizio Donato’s 17.39m mark from this winter. But the first round was far from over, seasoned 28-year-old Cuban Yoandri Betanzos producing a lifetime best 17.69m for a clear lead and another world leading mark.

Betanzos, who won the World indoor bronze medal both in 2004 and 2006, had jumped 17.42m indoors and 17.65m outdoors before this competition. Swede Christian Olsson, coming back to the world’s top level in his first major competition since coming back from an injury late in 2009, also jumped well in the first round reaching 17.23m and third place. This was a very good opener for the World indoor record co-holder  (17.83m in 2004), but his injury problems seem to be far from over as he was only able to jump twice today. David Giralt of Cuba, defending his 2008 World indoor silver medal from Valencia, moved to fourth place with 17.15m opener still in the same round one.

After this the action seemed to freeze for a long time. Former world leader Donato moved to fifth place with a 16.88m mark and Giralt came closer to Olsson with a 17.21m jump in round two, but those were the only things happening before round five. With Olsson again passing his attempt it was Giralt moving to third place with a 17.36m season’s best result in round five. But that wasn’t all since Tamgho too got a better jump and closer to the gold medal with a 17.50m effort, another season’s best for the Frenchman.

The best was still to come though. With the three medal finishers decided since Olsson couldn’t jump any more, Giralt wasn’t able to challenge the top duo finishing with a second successive medal at the World indoors, a bronze one this time.

The best performance of these championships came when Tamgho jumped for the last time - and getting everything right. The French youngster landed well beyond the World indoor record marker next to the sandpit setting a new record of 17.90m surpassing the old one by seven centimetres. This also was the first and only World record of this meet.

Not surprisingly, Tamgho himself was surprised by his result too.

"I didn't think I'd be able to achieve such a performance today. I knew I had it in me, because last year in Bercy, I had a foul close to 18m. Today, I thought if I won, it would be around 17.60m. But after the Cuban jumped 17.69m, I had to react and give it all. I can't tell my emotions."

Unbelievably Tamgho reached the record only in the tenth career 17 metres plus competition of his career and hopefully he will not lose his great form before the summer season like last year.

Betanzos, who was able to answer Tamgho with a good 17.57m effort with his last jump, won his third World indoor medal getting a silver with a 17.69m personal best and David Giralt was third with a 17.36m season’s best.

Former champion Olsson was dropped to fourth with 17.23m in competition where only four athletes went over 17 metres. Donato, who had come to Doha as the number one jumper in the world, was disappointed and could only jump 16.88m, more than a metre off the winner Tamgho.

Jadel Gregório of Brazil was sixth with a 16.78m best and Slovak Dmitrij Valukevic and Russian Igor Spasovkhodskiy were seventh and eighth with 16.72m and 16.42m respectively. The reigning World junior champion from 2008 now became the World indoor champion, something that usually doesn’t happen in just two years time.

Mirko Jalava for the IAAF

*pending the usual ratification procedures