Athletics world in disbelief over never-before-seen feat at Olympics

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Yulimar Rojas, pictured here breaking the triple jump world record to win gold at the Olympics.
Yulimar Rojas broke the triple jump world record to win gold at the Olympics. Image: Channel 7/Getty

Yulimar Rojas sent the athletics world into meltdown on Sunday night after becoming Venezuela'a first female gold medallist with a world record in the triple jump.

Rojas broke the world record with her final attempt to win the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

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She already had the victory assured when she took the last of her six attempts.

But she finished with a mark of 15.67m to break the previous world record of 15.50m set in 1995 by Inessa Kravets of Ukraine.

The win made Rojas Venezuela's first female Olympic champion in athletics.

"I was looking for it, I knew we had that distance in my legs to get it today," she said.

"I was failing a bit in the technical aspect but the last jump was one to give everything, and it was like that.

"I focused on giving my best, enjoying, and it came out."

A two-time world champion, Rojas won silver at the 2016 Olympics in Rio Games.

She broke the Olympic record in the first round of Sunday's final, and went through four more rounds before putting it all together perfectly.

"I knew. I already knew. I knew from the run. I knew I couldn't miss that one. I knew it was right there," she said of her last jump. 

"I didn't even have to look. My head, my heart, my body.

"I was also listening: people went 'wow.' I could hear my friend screaming. My coach was screaming, was yelling."

Ana Peleteiro, Yulimar Rojas and Patricia Mamona, pictured here after the triple jump final at the Olympics.
Ana Peleteiro, Yulimar Rojas and Patricia Mamona celebrate after the triple jump final at the Olympics. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Athletics world in disbelief over never-before-seen moment

Rojas said she had a feeling she was going to do something special.

"When I woke up this morning, I already knew today was going to be a good day," she said.

"I had a very positive vibe - I knew today things could be great, today I was going to write history.

"The last try was a magical moment."

Patricia Mamona of Portugal took silver with a national record of 15.01m, while Spain's Ana Peleteiro claimed bronze with a national record of 14.87m.

But it was Rojas' 'wow' moment that had athletics fans in a spin.

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There was even more history written later on Sunday as Italians Lamont Marcell Jacobs and Gianmarco Tamberi wrote two of the great golden stories of the Olympics in the space of 10 minutes.

Jacobs won the men's 100 metres final to become the first Italian to take the most coveted title in athletics just a few minutes after Tamberi had agreed to share the men's high jump gold with his friend - Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim.

Until the Tokyo Olympics few Italians had even heard of Jacobs, who has made impressive progress over recent years and broke the European record twice on Sunday en route to victory.

The high jump produced an equally emotional story after Barshim and Tamberi had ended tied and were given the choice of sharing the gold or having a jump-off for victory.

"Can we have two golds?", Barshim asked an official, who nodded.

The two athletes clasped hands and celebrated together in emotional scenes.

with AAP

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