NEWS

Shanieka sparkles

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Doha, Qatar — Jamaica's Shanieka Ricketts won silver in the triple jump with 14.92m while her teammate Kimberly Williams just missed out on the bronze after finishing fourth with a personal best of 14.64m.

The outstanding Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela won with a massive 15.37m, as Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia won bronze with 14.73m.

Following her outstanding season that included a Diamond League triple jump title, Ricketts had to overcome the pressure of delivering a medal for Jamaica and that she did.

“Honestly, it was a lot of pressure and at one point I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown. I had to get off social media for at least a week and just try my best and focus on what I came here for and I am just grateful that I am able to maintain my composure and deliver tonight,” Ricketts said.

“This is my third World Championships. I have had a lot of disappointments in the last two and to come out tonight and deliver and to be on the podium and get the silver medal for Jamaica, I am just happy for that,” she added.

Ricketts had a series of 14.81m, 14.76m, 14.92m, 14.72m, 14.85m before fouling on her final jump as she tried to snatch gold from Rojas who was leading from the second round.

“I was definitely hoping to get 15m. I was one centimetre off my personal best tonight and that was enough to get the silver medal and as much as I wanted to get the gold medal, it was far-fetched tonight and I am just happy that I am able to secure the silver,” she reiterated.

“This has been the best season I have ever had. I have been very consistent almost every competition. I have been over my personal best from last year of 14.61m, so I am just very happy with how the progression has been going this year,” said Ricketts.

Meanwhile, Williams, who held third position for four rounds and had the bronze in her grasp, finished fourth with a personal best of 14.64m, a mark she achieved twice.

“The goal was to get on the podium, this is what I trained for. I wanted to be on that podium and as you see I came out the gate and was on my 'A' game,” Williams noted.

“Then we went to the top eight and all of a sudden my mark was off and I really believed somebody kicked it and put it back and it was out of place and then for the sixth-round jump I was basically just trying to get things together,” said Williams.

“I am disappointed, but I can't be that down because I gave it my best, I equaled my PB [personal best] so it shows that I am at my best.”

Elsewhere, there were mixed results for Jamaica in the women's long jump as Chanice Porter qualified for the final but her most accomplished teammate Tissanna Hickling was eliminated after an indifferent performance.

Porter leapt 6.53m (-0.3m/s) for sixth in Group A and qualified 10th overall for her first final at this level.

It was also the first time a Jamaican has reached a final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships since the inception in 1983.

Ese Brume of Nigeria won the group with 6.89m ahead of Tori Bowie with 6.77m. Alina Rotaru of Romania claimed third with 6.72m. Great Britain's Sara Proctor was fourth with 6.63m and also advanced to the final.

An elated Porter said she was just happy to have reached the final, the first by a Jamaican in women's long jump.

“I am grateful, and it's my first senior world championships and it's a testament to how far I am coming from. Everybody knows the injuries I have been through, the surgeries, it's just good to be back and make the final,” said Porter.

“It is good to know that Jamaica will be represented well in the final tomorrow,” she added.

Hickling, competing in Group B, had a best jump of 6.49m for seventh and 16th overall and was duly eliminated.

It was well below her best mark of 6.82m and she was truly disappointed.

Howling favourite Malaika Mihambo of Germany won with a leap of 6.98m ahead of Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk of Ukraine with Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova of Belarus next with 6.69m.

Hickling, Jamaica's leading jumper all season, could not hide her disappointment.

“Yes, I am disappointed because I am better than that. It happens to the best of us, I just have to come next season and try and produce once again.

“But it's OK for me, I am not going to be too hard on myself because this is my first championships.

“Even though I wanted to make the final my teammate made it so I am really happy that she could come out there and deliver the jumping for the ladies,” Hickling added.