Alexis Copello (CUB) (AFP / Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Havana, Cuba

Alexis Copello triple jumps to a world leading 17.62m at Cuba Salta meeting

Cuban Olympian Alexis Copello improved his personal best to a world leading 17.62m in the Triple Jump as he provided the highest note of the Cuba Salta meeting over the weekend (Fri 13 and Sat 14) at Havana’s Estadio Panamericano.

23-year-old Copello, who missed the Olympic final by just two centimetres, fouled in his first attempt and then leapt to a world class 17.62m, with a 1.4m/s tailwind, in the second round. He passed the remaining rounds.

“I expected a long jump as I am in great form and I have managed to stay injury free,” said Copello, who looks forward to contesting his first World Championships in Berlin later this summer.

The 2006 CAC Games silver medallist and 2008 CAC bronze medallist improved his 17.50 best from 2008, a mark that enabled him to join the Olympic team but he diodn’t get past the qualification round in Beijing.

The tall jumper from Santiago de Cuba was followed by four-time World championships medallist Yoandri Betanzos (17.25), Olympic finalist Héctor Dayron Fuentes (17.15) and 2007 World championship fourth place finisher Osniel Tosca (16.90).

Copello enjoyed a successful second indoor season in February, with his first 17m leaps under closed roof, including a 17.17m effort in Seville, Spain.
2006 CAC Games gold medallist Mabel Gay took the women’s event with 14.42m, ahead of Yarianna Martínez (14.15) and 2008 World junior champion Dailenis Alcántara (13.97).

David Giralt, the 2008 World indoor silver medallist, and Yargelis Savigne the women’s 2007 World outdoor and 2008 indoor champion did not compete as they are recovering from minor injuries sustained during the indoor season.

With six Cuban men over 17m early this season, the men’s Triple Jump poses a challenge to the national technical committee to determine the trio for Berlin.

Nineteen-year old and 2008 World Junior championships silver medallist Osviel Hernandez became the newest member in the 17m club (17.08).

Other winners at the meet were 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Ibrahin Camejo in the Long Jump (7.91) and 2007 Pan American Games bronze medallist and Olympian Yarisley Silva in the women’s Pole Vault (4.30m).

Also over the same weekend, sprinters contested the Rafael Fortún Memorial (Sat 14 and Sun 15) in the central-eastern city of Camagüey, in honour of the two-time 1951 Pan American Games champion.

Anay Tejeda, the 2008 World Indoor bronze medallist, took the women’s 100m Hurdles in 12.90, as Dayron Capetillo did in the 110m Hurdles with 13.71.
Victor Gonzalez dominated the 100m in 10.25, ahead of Michel Herrera (10.28) and junior Roberto Skyers (10.32). Dayneris Bience, 21, set a personal best with her 11.50 win, well clear of 34-year old Olympian Virgen Benavides (11.67).

Both meetings and the Aurelio Janet Memorial, held the previous weekend for combined event and throws specialists, marked the end of the first training cycle for most of the country’s top athletes as they prepare with the World Championships in sight.

They are also expected to highlight the CAC Championships in front of their crowd in Havana, 3-5 July.

Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF