Lazaro Martinez in the triple jump at the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016 (© Getty Images)
Cuban triple jumper Lazaro Martinez became the second athlete of the championships to successfully defend their title.
The final played out in much the same way as the men’s shot put, in which his fellow back-to-back winner Konrad Bukowiecki took gold: an early lead, put under pressure in the first half, and then producing the winning performance in the first round with a world U20 lead.
Martinez’s teammate Critian Napoles held the world U20 lead coming into the final with the 16.92m with which he beat Martinez last month in Havana. In the final, the world U18 champion opened proceedings with a leap of 16.50m (-1.4m/s) to take the lead.
But just minutes later, Martinez bettered that mark by nine centimetres with his opening jump of 16.59m (-0.9m/s). The penultimate jumper in the first round, France’s Melvin Raffin, defied a -2.4m/s headwind – the strongest wind reading in the final – to bound into third place with 16.37m.
The medal positions stayed the same for the remainder of the competition, but Martinez improved his leading mark in round three, flying out to a world U20 lead of 17.06m (-1.1m/s), the second-best wind-legal winning mark in the history of the championships.
Napoles tried to respond with his final jump, but despite producing his best leap of the day, his 16.62m couldn’t make an impression on Martinez’s effort.
Martinez became the first athlete in the history of the World U20 Championships to win back-to-back titles in a men’s jumping event.
Raffin held on to the bronze medal position, but it came under attack from Austria’s Philipp Kronsteiner, who jumped 16.25 to finish fourth, and Korea’s Sung Jinsuok, who finished fifth with 16.11m.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF