Portugal’s Pichardo wins triple jump gold

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Tokyo:

Portugal’s Pedro Pichardo won the men’s triple jump 17.98m at the Tokyo Games on Thursday, giving his country its fifth Olympic gold medal.

China’s Zhou Yamang won the personal best of 17.57m for silver and Hughes Fabrice Zango won Bronxia Faso’s first Olympic medal after the 17.47m jump.

Burkina Faso is the 100th nation to win an Olympic athletics medal.

Pichardo took the lead with his first attempt of 17.61 meters and no other opponent could match him. Her 17.98m jump came on her third attempt and set a national record.

“It was a great competition, a tough field,” said Pichardo, who started practicing triple jump when he was just six years old. “All the athletes were very strong, it makes me feel even better about winning a gold medal.”

This was the second longest jump at the Olympics after Kenny Harrison’s record jump of 18.09 meters at the 1996 Games.

“Winning an Olympic gold medal was one of my dreams. I have a great sense of happiness and I still have a lot of dreams ahead of me,” Pichardo added.

Zhou got one last chance to sleep after his personal best jump with his fifth attempt. He placed a finger towards his temple and took a deep breath before coming down the runway but came up after a while.

“It was quite smooth in the qualification and I didn’t expect the final to be so intense,” said Zhou, who finished second at the 2019 Asian Championships.

Zengo admitted that he wanted to do better than bronze, but said he was proud to have won Burkina Faso’s first Olympic medal, which came to the country to celebrate its Independence Day.

“Burkina Faso is really happy. Everyone is happy. I think they will have a great party when I go back,” he said.

Will Kelly of the United States, who was second in London and behind Rio compatriot Christian Taylor, was fourth. Taylor was unable to defend his title in Tokyo after an Achilles injury in May.

Clay, who finished second at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships, shouted to himself, “Give me more!” After a season-best 17.44m third attempt, he finished second before being knocked out of the medal race.





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