2019 Monaco Herculis: A tale of two triple jumps...

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DSC_0065.jpgCaterine Ibarguen, TJ on the Harbor, 11 July 2019, photo by E. Fiacre/FMA

DSC_0443.jpgYulimar Rojas, TJ on the Harbor, 11 July 2019, photo by E. Fiacre/FMA

20190711_192432.jpgThe TJ venue, photo by Stuart Weir, 11 July 2019

I remember watching the women's shot put on the harbor a few years ago. It was enjoyable to watch in the harbor in Monte Carlo. In this column, Stuart Weir writes about the amazing TJ competition held on the 11th of July.

A tale of two triple jumps

One sometimes hears British people - who rely on public transport more than in many parts of the world - comment, "You wait a long time for a bus and then two come along together!". It was like that with the Triple Jump in Monaco. There have been complaints about the lack of triple jumps in the Diamond League program, then suddenly in Monaco we have not one but two!

DSC_0380.jpgOlga Rypakova, TJ, 11 July 2019, photo by E. Fiacre/FMA

Last year the Herculis held the women's shot put by the harbor, the night before the main event. At the pre-event press conference, the meet director, Jean-Pierre Schoebe, explained that too often some field events have to be scheduled before the TV program and the result is that there is hardly anyone watching so this year the women's triple jump would be a city event. The Louis II stadium was pretty full when the main program started but much less so then the earlier men's javelin and pole vault started.

DSC_0461.jpgCaterine Ibarguen, TJ, 11 July 2019, photo by E. Fiacre/FMA

I am a fan of taking an event out into the city. I thought the shot put last year and the triple jump this year worked well. The location by the harbor was excellent with lots of people walking past and able to stop and watch free. Spectators could watch up-close. I find that wherever you are in the stadium, the triple jump is always in the furthest corner of the arena! And with the "stadium" (harbor?) announcer only having one event to cover, there is time to explain to spectators exactly what is happening.

DSC_0705.jpgYulimar Rojas, TJ, 11 July 2019, photo by E. Fiacre, FMA

Yulimar Rojas from Venezuela won with 14.98. Caterine Ibarguen and Keturah Orji, who produced that epic battle in Oslo, could only finish sixth and ninth.

Serial World and Olympic Champion, Christian Taylor, won the men's triple jump. And, apparently, the pope is still a catholic. Taylor won with 17.82 from Will Claye (17.75). The 2008 Olympic champion, Nelson Evora (now 35) was fifth.

Remember in Rome neither Taylor nor Claye competed because of a reported dispute over pay and travel costs and with the Diamond League due to cut disciplines from the program next year, there are concerns about the future of the triple jump. Christian Taylor told me: "We've been cut almost silently over the last few years. We used to have seven meets when I first came out; now we are down to five. And it is a bit of work to get into these five. I understand that there are a lot of things which play. I understand that there's a lot of trial and error but unfortunately it is we who have to take the error! We are trying to work with the IAAF. We are trying to stay positive. If we have some input, we are trying to make a positive change. And it doesn't mean that first time we try something that it will work out. But for us, eliminating meetings is not moving to the right position or direction. But we are trying to stay positive and hopefully Seb Coe is willing to listen to us and give us another chance".

People who remember Jonathan Edwards' herculean efforts in breaking the world record twice in half an hour in Gothenburg 1995, will be sad to hear of any demise of the event.

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