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Olympic triple jump champion expelled from athletics worlds for shoe problem

Olympic triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas cannot compete in the long jump at the world championships in Oregon this month because her qualifying jump was performed in unapproved shoes.

Athletics governing body World Athletics said on Wednesday that a jump from Rojas in Spain in June, which was long enough to qualify, “was not a valid result as she was wearing triple jump shoes. which are not approved for the long jump”.

The soles of long jump shoes can have a maximum thickness of 20 millimeters, while the limit for the triple jump is 25 mm.

Rojas’ long jump in Spain measured 6.93 meters, a distance that would have earned her a silver medal at the 2019 Worlds. She was later prevented by injury from competing again for a valid qualifying mark, a the governing body said in a statement.

“We know this is disappointing for Ms. Rojas and her legions of fans,” World Athletics said, “but we can’t wait to see Ms. Rojas compete in the triple jump.”

The 26-year-old Venezuelan is the two-time defending triple jump champion and has set two world records in the past year.

Rojas set the outdoor record of 15.67 at the Tokyo Olympics last August and jumped 15.74 at the world indoor championships held in March in Belgrade, Serbia.

The women’s triple jump final is scheduled for July 18 at the world championships in Eugene from July 15-24.

Slow recovery keeps the pole vaulter on the sidelines

US two-time world champion Sam Kendricks will not defend his pole vault title in Eugene after his recovery from surgery took longer than expected, his agent announced on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old hasn’t competed since April and had knee surgery on May 2.

“Although we hoped he would be 100 per cent for the world championships, the healing process has been slower than expected,” Kendricks’ agent Paul Doyle told Reuters by email.

“Sam felt his time would be better spent in rehab to get [ready] for matches after the world championships.”

The news marks the latest disappointment for the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, who missed competing at the Tokyo Games last summer after testing positive for COVID-19.

He produced a jump of 5.97 meters to win in 2019 and captured gold in 2017 with a jump of 5.95.

Also on Wednesday, 2017 world javelin champion Johannes Vetter of Germany said he would also miss the world championships.