OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Photo: Ricardo López Hevia

World champion Yarisley Silva fought hard to secure the bronze medal this May 5 in Doha, the first stop of the Diamond League, and offered her best jump of the year in her 2017 international competitive debut at 4.65m.

Greek Olympic champion Katerina Stefanidi won with a jump of 4.80m, followed by Río 2016 silver medalist Sandi Morris (USA) with 4.75m.

Stefanidi started at 4.55m, only missed once at 4.65m and three times at 4.85m. Meanwhile Morris started with a neat 4.45m and reached the next three heights on the second attempt. She made an unsuccessful attempt to clear 4.85m after missing the first jump over the 4.80m bar achieved by her rival.

Yarisley’s string of misses made for tough watching. She managed to pass three heights on the last attempt. However, she is an athlete that often comes back stronger after a shaky start.

She saw two misses on the 4.25m and another four on the 4.45m, already higher than the 4.40m she passed during the Cuba Cup, which appeared to fill her with the confidence to clear the 4.55m on the second attempt.

Yarisley again needed three attempts to reach 4.65m, when no doubt her coach Alexander Navas drew a satisfied breath, as she fulfilled the objectives for this tournament. She concluded her performance by missing 4.75m on three attempts, but with her third place finish already firmly secured.

Megan Clark of the U.S. was the first to exit the competition on failing to make the first height of 4.25 meters, although she had already surpassed 4.60m earlier this year.

She was followed by Switzerland’s Nicole Buchler, an experienced 33-year-old athlete with a personal best of 4.78m, who decided to start with the second height (4.45m) and was knocked out of the contest after failing to clear her three attempts.

Also missing out on a medal were Kristen Brown (USA) and Alysha Newman (CAN), although they finished with a tie in seventh place having jumped 4.25m on the second attempt. Neither was up to their recent appearances, when the Canadian reached 4.71m and Brown 4.51m.

The third stage at 4.55m saw Katie Nageotte (USA) knocked out, finishing sixth with 4.45m. She was surpassed by Holly Radshaw (GBR) in fourth place and Lisa Yzih (GER) in fifth. The top six saw their best competition of the year.