Olympic triple jump champion from Portugal adds the world title to his list of achievements on Saturday night in Eugene
Pedro Pablo Pichardo could barely have enjoyed a better start to the competition as he leapt to a world-leading mark of 17.95m in the first round. It must have made the hearts of his rivals sink. Hugues Fabrice Zango managed to jump 17.55m for silver and Zhu Yaming jumped 17.31m for bronze but the gold medal was effectively sewn up in the first few moments of the contest.
“I opened strongly,” Pichardo said. “Since I left my residence, my mindset was focused on 18 metres. It did not come out today, but more importantly, I won gold.”
For the 29-year-old winner, who was born in Cuba but represents Portugal, the victory added to the Olympic title he took in Tokyo last year. This was his first world title, too, after silver medals in 2013 and 2015.
“This world title was elusive to me,” he said. “I had two silver medals and tried to win gold and achieved it today.”
To confirm his dominance, he followed up with 17.92m in the second round.
“I was motivated to win gold, but there’s not much left in my legs,” runner-up Zango said. “Looking at the season, I was a bit off my regular performance. I went out there to explore. To manage 17.55m is good.”
The world indoor champion Lazaro Martinez from Cuba fouled each of his three jumps. Meanwhile British entrant Ben Williams went out in qualifying after struggling with a painful patella tendon injury.
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