Kimberly Williams secured Jamaica’s second medal at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia with a bronze in the women’s triple jump on the third and final day of competition on Sunday.
The 33-year-old produced a season’s best effort of 14.62 metres for her podium place a day after experienced quarter-miler Stephenie Ann McPherson won Jamaica’s first medal – a bronze in the women’s 400 metres.
Venezuela’s world and Olympic triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas improved her own world indoor and outright records to 15.74m with her sixth and last effort to take the gold medal.
Just as she did in Tokyo last summer, she saved her best until last – and this jump in a packed and enraptured Stark Arena surpassed the outdoor world mark of 15.67m she achieved on that occasion.
Silver was also decided in the final round as 2019 world long jump silver medallist Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk took inspiration from the previous day’s gold medal high jump performance by her Ukrainian teammate Yaroslava Mahuchikh to move into second place in her second-best event with a final effort of 14.74m.
Bekh-Romanchuk’s silver came under final threat from Williams, whose opening effort of 14.59m had been demoted to bronze, but while the Jamaican improved to 14.62m it was not enough to alter the final medal order.
Rojas, who now has three successive world indoor gold medals, had set her original world indoor record in Madrid on February 21, 2020. She missed that record by just two centimetres in her last competition before these championships on March 2 as she returned to Madrid for the concluding World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting of the season, but it was a clear hint of what was to come.
The rangy Venezuelan phenomenon – she is 1.92m (6ft 2in) tall – became outdoor world record-holder last year after surpassing the mark of 15.50m set at the 1995 World Championships by Ukraine’s Inessa Kravets.
Jamaica’s other individual competitor in the morning session, Olympic bronze medallist Ronald Levy, failed to progress to this evening’s semifinals of the men’s 60m hurdles following a fifth-place finish in his preliminary round heat. Levy finished in a season’s best 7.75 seconds.
Grant Holloway is easily the quickest into the semifinals. The American bolted clear to win the fifth heat in 7.40, easily fastest ahead of the next best qualifying time of 7.55 set very smoothly by France’s Wilhem Belocian.
Jamaica will be hoping to finish the championships with a third medal as the women’s 4x400m team has booked a spot in the final, scheduled to begin at 1:55 pm Jamaica time.
The quartet of Roneisha McGregor, Janieve Russell, Tiffany James, and Junelle Bromfield finished second in the second of two heats in 3:30.9 to qualify for medal round. Poland won the heat in 3:30.51
The United States are the fastest qualifiers after winning their heat in 3:28.82.