World leader Dong Bin lived up to his favourite billing and made history by becoming the third Chinese athlete ever to win a world indoor title.
Dong, a finalist at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Istanbul 2012, took an early lead with 17.18m and then extended his lead with a 17.29m effort in the third around.
France’s European champion Benjamin Compaore trailed in second with 17.00m, the only 17-metre leap in the first half of the competition. Nigeria’s Tosin Oke, who set a season’s best of 16.73m, and Portugal’s 2008 Olympic champion Nelson Evora (16.66m) set the tone of the fight for the bronze medal.
After the field was reduced by half with three rounds remaining, Max Hess shook up the standings moving from eighth to second with a lifetime best of 17.14m, the best performance by a German male triple jumper since Charles Friedek’s victory in 1999.
Meanwhile, Evora improved to 16.89m to move closer to the bronze medal.
Hess flew out to another long jump in his fifth attempt, but was called a foul by a small margin. After passing the fourth round, Compaore improved slightly to 17.04m to remain in third.
Dong confirmed his lead by leaping 17.33m in the penultimate round that also meant improvement for USA’s IAAF World Tour winner Omar Craddock (16.87m) to finish fifth.
With only the top four men guaranteed a sixth attempt, the standings remained unchanged. Hess repeated his lifetime best while Compaore improved to 17.09m to confirm his bronze. Dong ended his series with a foul.
Dong joins sprint hurdler Liu Xiang (2008) and shot putter Sui Xinmei (1991) as the only Chinese athletes to reach the top of the podium in the history of the championships.
Hess earned Germany’s second triple jump medal in Portland, hours after Kristin Gierisch took silver in the women’s final.
For three-time world finalist Compaore, it was his first global championships medal, an improvement from his previous World Indoor Championships appearance in Istanbul 2012 where he finished sixth.
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF