Hugues Fabrice Zango made his first-ever finish in men’s triple jump final with two Cubans sharing the podium by just an inch.
The 30-year-old athlete, already an Olympic bronze medalist and world silver and bronze medalist, took an early lead but lost at the XXIII World Athletics Championships in Budapest. succeeding his penultimate effort at 17.64m.
Silver went to 25-year-old Lazaro Martinez with 17.41m, while team-mate Cristian Napoles, 24, took bronze with a personal best of 17.40m.
Jamaica’s 18-year-old youngster Jadon Hibbert came out disappointing when he was eliminated in the first round.
The U20 world champion, who topped this year’s world rankings at 17.87m in May after being invited and given tremendous support prior to his opening jump, gave up the challenge shortly after the jump and appearing to be troubled by the hamstring in his take-off leg.
Despite the relatively late announcement of the retirement of Portuguese world and Olympic champion Pedro Pablo Pisciardo, the final did not lack quality or competitiveness.
Zango, who stands 17.81m tall and is ranked No. 2 in the world this year, entered the competition early with an opening performance of 17.37m, 41cm ahead of his closest challenger Yasser Triki of Algeria in the first round.
But the second round seemed to flip a switch as Burkino Faso’s Olympic bronze medalist moved up to second with Martinez’s 17.41m, while China’s Zhu Yaming’s 17.12m Napoles advanced to third with 17.02m. did. He finished fourth, an inch behind Zhu’s compatriot Fang Yaoqing.