Israeli triple-jumper Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko survived a mighty scare before qualifying for the World
Championships triple-jump final in Moscow on Tuesday.
Israeli fouled her first two attempts in the qualifiers at Luzhniki Stadium,
meaning her hopes rested entirely on her third and final
Knyazyeva-Minenko, who was representing Israel in a major
competition for the first time since receiving citizenship last year following
her marriage to former Israeli athlete Anatoly Minenko, played it safe in her
final attempt, not even stepping on the board, but still cleared 14.46-meters to
advance to Thursday’s final from third place overall.
“I’m so happy, I
was really feeling the pressure,” said Knyazyeva-Minenko, who finished the
Olympic final in London in fourth place last year, jumping 14.56- meters while
“I had to find a way to relax after fouling with my
second attempt. I knew I was stressing myself and my team for no reason, but
all’s well that ends well.”
Knyazyeva-Minenko, who lives in Israel and
trains with local coach Alex Merman, finished behind Olha Saladuha (14.69m) and
Caterine Ibarguen (14.52m) on Tuesday, but she has already turned her focus to
“I gave my all in the third jump and I knew I had qualified as
soon as I had landed,” said Knyazyeva-Minenko, who set a personal best of 14.71m
last year, with her best jump of the season so far being 14.58m.
have two days to relax and prepare for the final because that was always my real
Knyazyeva-Minenko became the first Israeli since pole-vaulter Alex
Averbukh in 2007 to reach a World Championships final and will be looking to
emulate Averbukh once more on Thursday and become just the second Israeli to win
a medal at the global championships.
Averbukh took a silver medal in the
2001 Worlds in Edmonton.
In other action on Tuesday, new world
10,000-meter champion Mo Farah brushed the sleep from his eyes and forced his
tired legs around 15 laps of the track to qualify for the 5,000 final on a warm,
sunny Tuesday morning at the Luzhniki.
Luckily Farah, favorite to retain
his 5,000 crown and match his distance double from the 2012 Olympics, was not
required to use the blistering finishing speed that won him 10,000 gold on
In the 20-km walk, winner Elena Lashmanova almost made a costly
mistake after slowing down in the stadium at the end of the race because she was
unclear where the finish was.
“The judges didn’t really explain to us
that we should do one lap before the home straight and finish, that’s why I
stopped for a second at the stadium but I quickly understood I should keep
going,” said the 21-year-old Russian, who added the world title to her Olympic
gold.Reuters contributed to this report.
On TV: Athletics World Championships (live on Eurosport from 7:30 a.m. and
Channel 1 from 8:30 a.m.)