Beijing Diary, August 17, 2008-Mgango Defends Her Triple Jump title, gives Cameroon second medal in their history!, by Larry Eder


In the medal counts pushed on television and in the stadium, the fact remains that most of the countries who compete here do not take medals home. 141 medals will be given out in track & field in Beijing and those medals will go to 41 countries. Cameroon is celebrating its only second gold medal in their history-both from the same athlete-Mbango Etone !

Mbango Etone of Cameroon, the defending champion in the triple jump from Athens, put pressure on the field from her first attempt, hitting 15.19 meters, and taking the lead. Etone then popped 15.39 meters in her second attempt, and that was all they wrote.

Hyrsopiyi Devetzi of Greece, the silver medalist from Athens jumped 15.23 in round two, to put herself in the silver position once again. However, Tatyana Lebedeva, the bronze medalist from Athens, who had jumped 15.17m in round two, had other plans.

In her third attempt, Tatyana Lebedeva, the best long jumper/triple jumper in the world, jumped 15.32 meters here to take over the silver position, swapping her position from Athens with Devetzi of Greece.

Lebedeva was putting pressure on Etone, but fouled on her last attempt, giving Etone the gold medal once again! Etone had a fair last jump of 14.88 meters, but her gold was already assured.

Tatyana Lebedeva took the silver and Hysoropi Devetzi of Greece took the bronze, a reversal of four years ago.

In fourth, Olga Rypakovoa of Kazakstan jumped 15.11meters and Yargelis Savigne of Cuba placed fifth in 15.05 meters.

In the end, Cameroon is celebrating its second gold medal and Mbango Etone, who trains in Paris, defended her triple jump title !

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