Eugene (USA), July 23 – Portuguese Pedro Pichardo won the gold medal in the triple jump final of the Oregon’22 World Athletics Championships yesterday, with a jump of 17.95 meters.
It was Pichardo’s first world gold medal, who had already been second in 2013 and 2015. The Portuguese “snatched” the victory in the first try, with the mark of 17.95 meters. The competition soon saw that he would have to beat personal records to overtake the Portuguese.
And the podium closed with the same protagonists from Tokyo, with Hughes Fabrice Zango (Burkina Faso) now being second (17.55) and Yaming Zhu being third (17.31).
Pichardo’s victory was conclusive and his first three jumps were superior to Zango’s.
However, the record holder from Portugal did not want to score points in the competition. “No, I just thought about myself, the work I did to get here and I wanted to make a jump right away that would give me confidence to be champion. I even thought it could be 18 meters soon”, said the athlete, who did not think “about what they could or could not do. The focus just had to be on me. With my form and my desire to pass the 18 meters”.
“On the second jump I continued to try to pass the 18 meters, it didn’t come off either and I tried until the race was over. But the most important and main objective was to win the gold medal and that makes me happy”, said Pedro Pichardo, who ended up confessing that he felt it was his day. “Whoever is in the sport knows how to recognize the value of opponents, and since qualifying I knew that if I got a good jump, they would hardly be able to overtake me”.
There is no doubt about the value of the opponents “all the athletes we know, who were also on the podium”, the world champion has not yet run out of motivation. “I’ve been Olympic champion, world champion, European champion indoors, I’ve won two Diamond Leagues, but that’s not enough. I still need to be European champion, win more trophies and, above all, improve my marks and continue to chase the world record.”
Along the mixed zone, much sought after by various media, when asked if it was also a medal from Latin America, Pichardo replied that “if you want to think about it, it’s just because I was born in Cuba, but this medal belongs to Portugal, which was the one who welcomed me and allowed me to compete at the highest level”, said the world champion, thanking and dedicating the title to his coach (and father), family, club and staff who always accompanied him.
But there was another Portuguese in the triple-jump final: Tiago Pereira, who came out stronger with 10th place (16.69 meters, windy) in his debut at the World Athletics Championships. Away from the last three jumps (only for the first eight), in the end, Tiago Pereira claimed to take “the experience. I have to work harder and present myself better. I’m fine, but today I couldn’t perform at the best level. It will strengthen me to be on the big stages”.
“I leave a little disappointed, but I don’t leave sad, I can’t leave my first World Cups sad, I think I did the least, which was to reach the final. I accomplished what I set out to do, but I wanted to dream more. I wasn’t as happy as I wanted. I have to work and focus as much as possible for the Europeans because I want to be in the fight”, he said.