Sat | Jul 11, 2020

Triple jump records could go in Doha – Riley

Published:Tuesday | September 17, 2019 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

Jonathon Edwards of Britain and Ukrainian Inessa Kravets set the world records in the triple at the 1995 World Championships in Goteborg, Sweden. Jamaican jumps expert David Riley thinks both marks could fall in Doha when the 17th World Championship begins on September 27.

Twenty-four years ago, Edwards bounded 18.16 and then 18.29 metres to take the gold medal. Days later, Kravets boomed out to 15.50 metres.

Riley thinks their stay in the record books could end in Doha.

“It can happen”, he previewed.

“There won’t be any complaints about it being too cold, so the muscles should be in their right place and I think they’ve done enough to control the environment, controlling it I think at 80 degrees, so it should be an interesting setting and athletes will have very little to concern themselves about”, Riley commented, in reference to the temperature-control mechanism put in place by the host country.

The women’s favourite is reigning champion Yulimar Rojas, the Venezuelan, who recently upped her world-record challenge with a personal best of 15.41 metres. Beaten by Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts at the Diamond League final last month, the lanky leaper has been on Riley’s radar since he first saw her compete.

“She didn’t win, but she had some really good fouls,” he recalled.

No favourites

The men’s event doesn’t have a clear-cut favourite, but world leading American Will Claye and his World champion colleague Christian Taylor, look set for a mighty battle.

“Claye seems to be having a much better season than Taylor, but the Cubans are also lurking, and the other American, Craddock, is doing very well,” Riley said of a discipline where Claye has the best jump in the world at 18.14 metres.

Still, he isn’t counting the third American, Omar Craddock, out. Noting that Craddock is the Pan-Am champion, the Excelsior head coach added, “It should be a very intense competition with all those guys just going at each other jump after jump.”

Jamaica’s Jordan Scott, the NCAA indoor winner, will be in the field as well. Altogether, Riley expects a pretty good show.

“To give the organisers their due, for the last two championships, they’ve given the events a lot more space,where they focus a lot more on the field events and give the athletes not just an introduction, which is what we see at these other meets, but you get to see round after round and enjoy the competition,” praised Riley, who will be in Doha as a member of Jamaica’s coaching team.