Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia successfully defended her world championship in the triple jump Monday night in Beijing, clearing all six attempts and posting a season’s best 14.90 meters on her fourth. The 31-year-old Olympic silver medalist became the third woman to collect two World gold medals in the event. Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko won silver on her second attempt, with an Israeli national record 14.78 meters, and Olga Rypakova, the Olympic champion from Kazakhstan, jumped 14.77 on her final attempt. The silver medal was the first ever by an Israeli woman at the World Championships, with the previous best result coming from Knyazyeva-Minenko at sixth place two years ago.
In fourth place was Gabriela Petrova of Bulgaria, fifth was Commonwealth Games champion Kimberly Williams of Jamaica, and sixth was Olga Saladukha of Ukraine – the 2011 champion who had won bronze at the previous Olympics and World Championships. Cynthea Rhodes, who placed 11th at Athens in 1997, is the only American to ever make the event final.
WOMEN’S 400-METER HURDLES
Zuzana Hejnova, the defending champion and Olympic bronze medalist from the Czech Republic, posted the best time in the semifinals of the women’s 400-meter hurdles Monday at 54.24 seconds. She was followed by American Cassandra Tate (54.33), Sara Slott Petersen of Denmark (54.34), and Commonwealth Games champion Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica, who placed fourth in 2009 and 2011 and will get another shot to crack the podium. Also in the final Tuesday will be Wenda Nel of South Africa, Janieve Russell of Jamaica, European champion Eilidh Child of Great Britain, and 20-year-old Shamier Little of the U.S. American Kori Carter went down hard in the third heat and did not finish, and representing Canada, Sage Watson of the University of Arizona was seventh in heat two at 56.38 seconds.
AROUND THE TRACK
Canada had not seen a gold medal at the World Championships since Perdita Felicien won the 100-meter hurdles in 2003, but that changed Monday when 21-year-old Shawnacy Barber won the pole vault at 5.9 meters to edge defending champion Raphael Marcel Holzdeppe of Germany. The only other Canadian men to take gold in the Worlds were Donovan Bailey and his relay teammates from 1995 and 1997.
In the women’s 10,000 meters, Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot of Kenya added to her 2011 title and two golds in the 5,000 with a time of 31:41.31. Gelete Burka of Ethiopia and Emily Infeld of the U.S. followed her. It’s the second U.S. bronze in the event, matching Kara Goucher in 2007.
“I was just to run through the line and give it everything I had,” Infeld said. “I feel like the last lap I felt really good, and I just wanted to hang with it. I felt like I could medal, and I just ran through the line. I’m really thrilled.”