Burkina Faso athlete Hugues Fabrice Zango has begun 2021 on the right foot, leaping to a new indoor triple jump world record of 18.07 metres.
In an almost empty arena in Aubiere, France, the 2019 world bronze medallist’s competition didn’t get off to the best start with a foul on the opening jump.
Zango, who told Olympic Channel in April 2020 that his 'best was yet to come', went on to register a few mid-17 metre-efforts over the next four rounds.
But he saved the best for last, setting a new world’s best in his sixth and final effort.
The 27-year-old becomes the first-ever African world record holder in a jumping event.
His leap added 15 centimetres to the previous record, set by his French coach Teddy Tamgho at the 2011 European Indoor Championships, who was present for the jump and delighted for his mentee. He tweeted after:“We already knew that the record had to fall. Now we go back to work because we must not stop there.”
Burkina Faso has never won an Olympic medal, and Zango’s timely performance means he is a firm contender to amend that statistic at the Tokyo 2020 Games.