Yulimar Rojas lays down her new focus: “I was born to jump 16 meters”

The Olympic gold medallist, who smashed the outright world record at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, wants to go even further and has a strong conviction that she can get to a legendary barrier.

Picture by www.starsport.rs

After leaping to a new world record and an unprecedented third World Athletics Indoor title, Yulimar Rojas has a new target - 16 meters!

The Olympic triple jump champion leaped to yet another outright record with her 15.74m last Sunday (March 20), in the sixth round of the 2022 edition in Belgrade.

The new mark followed close on the heels of the Venezuelan's astonishing outdoor world record of 15.67m, again in the final jump, at the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021.

“It didn’t feel any different, but it is the jump for glory. Maybe one day I’ll be known as 'the girl of the sixth jump',” she said of her record-breaking final round jumps at the Olympics and recently at the World Indoors.

And now Rojas believes she is just a couple of jumps away from a legendary mark.

"I will get there… I was born to jump 16 metres." - Yulimar Rojas

"This is what inspires me to inspire others to achieve their dreams, and help athletics remain the best sport in the world... athletics is my whole life.”

READ: Top things to know about the world champion triple jumper

It has been a fast rise for the 26-year-old, who started out as a high jumper when she was 15, before switching to long jump, and moving to triple jumping eight years ago.

At the Stark Arena on Sunday, the Venezuelan underlined her class with a dominant win for her third Indoor gold medal, after victories in Birmingham in 2018 and Portland in 2016.

Her 15.74m was one meter ahead of her closest rival, Ukrainian Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk, whose final jump of 14.74 earned her silver ahead of third placed Jamaica's Kimberly Williams with 14.59.

"I have two motivations in life: achieve 16 metres and doing better than the legend that is my coach, Ivan Pedroso,” said Rojas.

She trains with the retired Cuban long jumper, gold medallist at Sydney 2000 who won five indoor and four world long jump titles.

The two met on Facebook and the connection motivated her to move to work with him in the Spanish town of Guadalajara.

“He knows I can get there. He knows I will do it.” - Yulimar Rojas on working with her coach to get to the 16m target.

“Nothing is impossible, that is my motto, and it’s what I believe in,” said Rojas who has been unbeaten since September 2019 when she won her second world (outdoor)title in Doha said of her new focus.

“If you work with your heart, your belief, your love of the sport, nothing is impossible.”

The 2020 World Athlete of the Year is definitely one to watch at the Diamond League meetings that begin on May 13 in Doha, and at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon from 15 to 24 July.


Free live sport events. Unlimited access to series. Unrivalled Olympic news & highlights.