Jumper Shanieka Ricketts rues narrow medal missMonday, August 02, 2021
BY IAN BURNETT
TOKYO, Japan — Winning or losing in sport is often defined by fine margins.
Shanieka Ricketts, Jamaica's top women's triple jumper and the world number two ranked athlete, found that out the hard way yesterday in the final of the women's triple jump contest inside the Olympic Stadium.
Ultra consistent all year, including a personal best 14.98m, Ricketts waltzed into the final off a solitary 14.43m jump in last Friday's qualification Group B contest.
But yesterday, all the breaks deserted her.
“I definitely wanted a medal of course, so I'm disappointed,” she told the media post competition.
“I had a few run-up problems in the first three rounds and had to play catch-up and the competition got away from me and I just have to work with the fourth place, I can't do anything else.”
Ricketts fouled her first two efforts, overstepping the mark, before registering a conservative 14.47m on her third attempt to get into the top eight.
She then registered her strongest performance for the day on the fourth round when she landed 14.84m to claim the bronze medal position.
But her 14.62m and 14.76m failed to improve her distance as Spain's Ana Peleteiro produced a National record 14.87m effort in round five to knock her out of the bronze medal position.
Winner, Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas, had long gone, registering an Olympic record 15.41m in the first round, before closing out the show with a deserved world record jump of 15.67m.
Portugal's Patricia Mamona took second place with a national record 15.01m.
It was a hard pill to swallow for Ricketts, who was reportedly jumping in excess of 15m in training, and also yesterday when she overstepped the mark.
“I had a good season, kept getting good jumps, I had a good jump tonight as well but I had two fouls over 15m but it doesn't count because it was a foul, so I just have to move on and try to improve throughout the rest of the season,” she explained.
Shanieka's husband and coach KerryLee Ricketts blew her kisses from the stand after her final jump failed to surpass any of the top three. He wanted to encourage her on a great season, even if it ended without a medal at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“I'm very disappointed because based on where I am in the season I definitely feel like I should be over 15 metres on paper. I was over 15m (Sunday) but it just not registered, so like I said, disappointed but still hopeful.”
The 29-year-old was unable to identify any specifics which might have caused her problems with her run-ups early on.
“I honestly don't know, I have to watch the film when I get back because I really don't know,” she reasoned.
But for what she could learn to help her for the rest of the season, she said.
“It's early but I'll definitely be watching the film, see where I went wrong and see where I can adjust going into the rest of the season as well as next year.”