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Yulimar Rojas surpasses the Olympic and world record.  Photo courtesy of AFP.
Yulimar Rojas surpassed the Olympic and world record in Tokyo. Photo: AFP.

Venezuela's Yulimar takes gold in Tokyo and breaks triple jump world record

The 25-year-old Venezuelan athlete Yulimar Rojas broke the Olympic and world record in the women's triple jump yesterday and took the gold medal.

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Venezuelan Olympian Yulimar Rojas made history on Sunday, Aug. 1 by winning gold for Venezuela and at the same time, breaking the Olympic and world records in the women's triple jump in Tokyo.

Rojas not only became the first woman from Venezuela to win an Olympic gold medal, but also set a new Olympic and world record, reaching 15.67 meters with an impressive jump. The six-foot, two-inch athlete was the undisputed favorite in the Olympic final.

After winning the silver medal in Rio, Rojas has become a dominant athlete in the triple jump and one of the favorites. Rojas started by breaking the Olympic record, leaving the other competitors behind and becoming her only main competition. 

Rojas, in addition to breaking an Olympic record, has added a world record to her accolades, and her emotion was felt around the stadium.

"I always wanted to be the first woman to win a gold medal," she said to reporters after the race. The smile never left her face, between excited and nervous, she could not find the right words to describe her joy.

At home, Rojas' mother, Yulecsi Rodriguez and her husband Pedro Zapata, were moved to tears watching the Olympic triple jump final at their home in Barcelona, Venezuela and celebrated her victory.

She was joined on the podium by Portugal's Patricia Mamona in second place with 15.01 m, and Spain's Ana Peleteiro in third place with 14.88 m, a national record. Three Afro-descendant women led the competition.

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