The 2013-2016 IAAF Strategic Plan has six Core Values: universality, leadership, unity, excellence, integrity and solidarity, and a Vision Statement: “To lead, govern and develop the sport of athletics in all its forms worldwide, uniting the Athletics Family in a spirit of excellence, integrity and solidarity.”
Capping a consistent season which saw her take World Championships silver, Cuban Mabel Gay won her first World Athletics Final title with a near season’s best leap.
After opening with a modest 14.36m and 14.29m leaps, the 26-year-old found her rhythm to reach 14.62m in the third round to take the final Triple Jump title of the WAF era. The leap was just two centimetres shy of her season’s best and not far off of her 14.66m career best from 2007.
Gay arrived in Thessaloniki with the best momentum of the field, having won both of her post-Berlin outings in Tallinn and Zagreb. After several runner-up finishes behind her better-known teammate, the two-time World champion Yarelis Savigne, who was absent this weekend, Gay was given the opportunity to come out from the shadows. And she took full advantage.
But the former World youth and World junior champion had a scare. It took Biljana Topic until the fourth round to find her rhythm, and when she did leaped 14.56m to break her own Serbian record.
Tatyana Lebedeva, who was rocked by injury much of the season, is quite likely pleased with her third place finish, propelled by a season’s best 14.48m.