Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Getty Images.
Zango Wins First World Triple Jump Title in Budapest
Zango makes history with Burkina Faso's first World Athletics gold in men's triple jump.
Hugues-Fabrice Zango of Burkina Faso secured his first world title in the triple jump with a remarkable leap of 17.64 meters at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest on Monday. The gold medal winner outshone his competitors, Lazaro Martinez of Cuba, who claimed the silver, and Cristian Napoles, also of Cuba, who took home the bronze.
Zango, a constant source of national pride for Burkina Faso, previously earned his nation's first-ever Olympic medal in Tokyo two years ago, securing the bronze in the triple jump. That same year, he set a new indoor world record.
Zango's path to victory in Budapest was made somewhat smoother when Jamaica's teenage sensation, Jaydon Hibbert, who had the longest jump of the year, was sidelined due to injury after the first round.
After the competition, Zango expressed his elation, saying, "Look at my big, big, big smiling mouth. It tells you everything. I had so many difficulties and doubts, I have been struggling a lot. I had to travel a very long way to get this gold medal. I am proud to be the man who keeps his word."
Ranked as the world No. 2, Zango's leap of 17.64 meters on his fifth of six attempts propelled him ahead of Cuba's Lazaro Martinez, who secured the silver with a distance of 17.41 meters after fouling on three of his attempts. Martinez narrowly edged out his teammate Cristian Napoles, who recorded a jump of 17.40 meters.
Notably, Zango's gold medal marked a historic moment as it was the first-ever world title in the triple jump for any African nation.
"I cannot imagine the level of celebration in my country when I go back home, but I'm going to start the celebrations in Budapest," Zango exclaimed. "We have some troubles in our country now, and it is an incredible mission to bring some positive emotions to them."
In other championship events, Marie-Josee Ta Lou narrowly missed out on a medal in the women's 100m final. Despite entering the championships as the third-fastest woman in the world this year, the 34-year-old finished in fourth place on Monday, clocking 10.81 seconds. The gold medal went to American Sha'Carri Richardson with a time of 10.65, followed by Jamaica's Shericka Jackson with silver in 10.72, and five-time event champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica taking the bronze in 10.77.
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