Heading into the championships, just 16 centimetres separated the top five athletes in the girls’ triple jump, so picking a winner was always going to prove a tricky task, but in the end an athlete few had considered – China’s Tan Qiujiao – came and surprised them all.
With a best of 13.16m, few had considered her a likely champion, but the 17-year-old proved the folly of predictions when, after fouling the first round, soared out to a massive 13.64m in the second to seize command. It was a PB by 46 centimetres and a world U18 lead.
Previous leader Aleksandra Nacheva, who went into the event as favourite, tried her best to respond in kind, but even a PB of 13.54m in the fifth round, nine centimetres up on her previous best, was not enough.
In what proved a competition of impressive depth, Cuba’s Zulia Hernandez broke new ground to take the bronze medal, opening with a PB of 13.29m, which she was unable to improve upon in subsequent rounds.
China’s Pan Youqi impressed with a PB of 13.11m in the fifth round, but it was not enough to get among the medals.
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF