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Saladuha takes Triple Jump title

Olha Saladuha takes Triple Jump title

Olha Saladuha takes Triple Jump title

If there is a perfect way to win a major title then Ukraine’s Olha Saladuha demonstrated it before another superb crowd here in Helsinki tonight as she retained her triple jump title at the European Athletics Championships.

Saladuha’s first round effort took her 14.99m, the best in the world this year and from that stage of the competition, her rivals were chasing second.

Talk about delivering a knockout psychological blow so early, but so often jumpers plan it this way.

It does not always happen in this fashion but Saladuha is in such a rich vein of form that she is on course towards the Olympic Games in London primed to bank more gold.

Having established the lead – Portugal’s Patricia Mamona was closest at the end of round one with 14.52m which brought her silver – Saladuha made the point of who is boss by leaping 14.84m with her next attempt.

Her victory came with a distance 22 centimetres further than her season’s best which had been set here in qualifying on Wednesday.

Before arriving in Finland, Saladuha had cleared a best of 14.75m twice in 2012.
Columbia’s Caterine Ibarguen had led the world rankings with 14.95, set on home soil at altitude in Medellin in April.

She has been nowhere near that mark since and Saladuha savoured every moment of being European champion again.

In the fifth round her Russian teammate Yana Borodina went from 14.15m to 14.36m to take third place.

But it was all about Saladuha who even had one final flourish in the last round.

There was no need to rush because she wanted to make the most of the moment.

She pushed her hair behind her ears, she slapped her thighs, she waited a second, she looked to the crowd, she looked down the runway and then she was off, hurtling at pace and leaping 14.89m.

A superb way to complete a great day as her victory in 14.99m was the fourth longest in European Championships and her 47 centimetre win beat the record 25-centimetre mark she had set in Barcelona as she became the first to defend the title.

“I had 15 metres in my mind and that is why I kept trying,” said Saladuha.

But that might not be far away such is the form she has shown and is taking into London.

At the side of the track, she went to her coach at the finish and it was questionable over who had the bigger smile.

It will not always be this straightforward, of course, in the sense of dominating an event with a jump while the others were probably just stretching and waiting their turn on the runway.

But that is the time to strike – and what Saladuha did tonight was the perfect example of a champion delivering brilliantly in a championship.

You cannot ask for more than that – even if 15 metres would have made victory ever sweeter.


  1. […] Saladuha takes Triple Jump title is a post from: Time-to-Run Europe […]

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