Shanieka Ricketts takes big step towards 15-m with world-leading triple jump

By February 04, 2019
Ricketts jumped out to a world-leading 14.76 metres at the Youngster Goldsmith meet at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday. Ricketts jumped out to a world-leading 14.76 metres at the Youngster Goldsmith meet at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

Shanieka Ricketts' journey to a possible podium finish at the IAAF World Championships later this year, took a giant step in the right direction on Saturday when she set a world-leading triple jump mark of 14.76m at the Youngster Goldsmith meet at Jamaica’s National Stadium in Kingston.

Griffiths, the 2018 NACAC Champion, was more than a metre better than her high-school rivals – Edwin Allen’s Ackelia Smith (13.42m) and Holmwood Technical’s Samantha Jibbson (12.24m) – but in truth, they were never where her attention was focussed.

Knowing that only an improvement in distance will get her a medal, Ricketts' plan was to execute her technique to perfection. She almost achieved it.

“Everything except the last phase of the jump went according to plan on Saturday. I was very fast on the runway and my hop and step phases were commendable,” she told Sportsmax.tv.

“The step phase has been a problem area for some time now,” she continued:

“We saw improvements last year and we are working to get better results this year. On Saturday, I had the best step phase of my career, which resulted in the best jump of my career.  Therefore, improving the step phase will undoubtedly play a crucial role in helping me get closer to the 15-metre mark.”

That said, Ricketts, who was a silver medallist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, revealed that she was not really surprised at the personal-best performance.

“To be honest, I was not surprised at the distance because I believe that I am capable of jumping far and I have been having great jump sessions in training,” she said, also explaining that her schedule this season has set to allow her to be her peak in Doha.

“Before the start of the season, Coach (Kerry Lee) Ricketts, Norman Peart and I discussed the track and field calendar. We examined dates of each major championship and events and made the necessary plans for the season. In doing so, I will be at my best for the major championships.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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    Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts, who fulfilled the promise of an excellent season by mining silver at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics points out that her rise to the podium was a long time in coming and therefore satisfying.

    “I am very pleased, this is my third World Championships and the first time I am standing on a podium so I am pleased,” she told Trackalerts TV in an interview after her historic feat.

    Ricketts became the first Jamaican woman to mine a silver medal at in the triple jump at the World Championships after a leap of 14.92 metres put her second to Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas, whose 15.37 could not be challenged.

    The Jamaican also finished ahead of a legend of the triple jump in Colombia’s Caterine Ibarguen, 14.73, and the personal best of her fourth-placed teammate, the veteran Kimberly Williams, 14.64.

    “There’ve been so many disappointments in years gone by and to finally deliver on the world stage makes me very happy,” said Ricketts.

    Despite the long time in coming, Ricketts is not resting on her laurels and believes there is more she can do still.

    “In some of the jumps I was having a little trouble with my third phase,” she said, thinking back to what she could have done better and what she needs to improve going forward.

    “Despite that, there is not much really to complain about tonight,” she said.

    Ricketts is also very aware that she has not achieved her lofty heights alone and that her successes have everything to do with those who have supported her.

    “I have an amazing team. It’s been my husband [Kerry Lee Ricketts], Mr Peart, Brad yap, My chiropractor, they’ve all done a fantastic job of making sure I peak at the right times and that showed in my performances this year,” she said.

    Ricketts produced a high-level series during her silver-medal run.

    She had distances of 14.81, 14.76, 14.92, 14.72, 14.82, and a no jump and explained what led to the consistency in the distances and even the no jump after sher silver medal had already been sewn up.

    “I wanted to give it my all. I was still trying to jump 15 metres,” she said.

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    Ricketts put together, probably the best series of her career, with the 14.92 she would end with marking just one of five jumps that would have brought her silver.

    She would lose to the brilliant Venezuelan, Yulimar Rojas, whose 15.37 was one of two marks over 15 metres, while veteran and serial World Champion, Colmbia’s Caterine Ibarguen, finished with a bronze medal even after a sub-par season, reaching out to 14.73 with her fifth attempt to get the better of another Jamaica, longtime competitor Kimberly Williams, whose personal best 14.64 saw her end fourth.

    Ricketts started with 14.81 metres, which without another attempt would have given her a silver medal but proved she belonged in the rarified air by returning to jump 14.76 before her big 14.92 effort. Even after getting near the 15-metre mark, Ricketts did not rest on her laurels and kept the pressure high by jumping out to 14.72 and 14.85 before she could relax, with Ibarguen having completed her jumps to assure herself of a bronze medal.

    Williams 14.64 came in her first attempt and for most of the final, looked good enough to secure an unprecedented silver-bronze combo for Jamaica.

    Ibarguen’s best until her penultimate jump had been 14.46 metres and Williams, who has now been fourth at World Championships on four occasions, looked set to break the jinx.

    It was not to be.

    Ricketts silver medal brings to nine the number of total medals Jamaica has won at the end of the penultimate day of the Championships. The country now has three gold, four silver, and two bronze medals.

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