Yulimar Rojas, this Friday in Tokyo.DYLAN MARTINEZ / Reuters
On the first day of the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, at noon, the
the 100-meter sparks, atomic energy run on the track, and seven hours later, when the sun already goes to China, one of the stars jumps , Yulimar Rojas, strength, boat, technique, the goddess. Silver medalist in Rio 2016, at 21 years old, after the other great Caribbean of the triple, the Colombian Caterine Ibargüen, Rojas, who trains in Guadalajara (Spain) has not stopped growing and winning flying,
hop, step, jump ...
Indoor and outdoor world championships, world record in indoor track, 15.43m, jumps always above 15 meters, the distance of respect, without apparent effort ... "It is on the edge of the world record (15.50m)", says the official statistician of the international federation. "Relax," she says in an interview in Guadalajara on a cold, ugly rainy day in June, a few weeks before she flew to Tokyo. “The record is part of the process. When it has to arrive, it will arrive ”. Rojas, and also her training partner, the Galician Ana Peleteiro, qualified for the end of Sunday (1:15 p.m.) with the two best jumps of the 34 participants, 14.77m for the Venezuelan (who beat 40 centimeters from the plasticine) and 14.62m for the Spanish, the best mark of her life in the open air, 11 centimeters from her national record on the indoor track.
Rocket Women Take Tokyo
Around you, everyone says that you will be the first woman to jump 16 meters, and you say that you do not even think about the 15.50m of the Kravets record ...?
I'm in great physical shape, but the record is part of the process, part of what we want.
It is not something that haunts me, that has to come out, that has to come out, but something that will come with the passing of time.
Little by little we will feel better, and taking advantage of our physical condition, waiting for the perfect moment and time for everything to happen ...
There is nothing left for Tokyo and you are relaxed, smiling, as if nothing ...
If something has been seen this year is the great consistency of my jumps, my strong maturity on the track, the result of daily work, discipline, effort ... Every season that ends I travel a few months to Venezuela and return to always start from scratch.
The athlete always has to get, to discover, the best of oneself.
I have brought out the best version of myself.
All athletes have been influenced, for better or for worse, the year of the pandemic.
How did you experience it?
This pandemic makes you value more what you do, enjoy the process, what you love, what fulfills you.
He made me get the Yulimar Rojas out of my interior and make it known.
I look changed, more mature, more professional, but always enjoying myself, making me enjoy myself, making me look happy, smiling, simple, and with the charisma that I have been seen since I've been here.
Imagine that you win the gold, which does not seem impossible.
How will you live the next day?
Are you afraid that the life you lead will change, what seems to make you so happy?
When I won the silver in Rio, it changed my life for the better, always for the better ... There are always people who have an influence on seeing the things you do and directing them towards the bad.
I am always a very positive girl in this aspect of these achievements.
The Olympic Games are an appointment to show that great dreams can be achieved and that this is reflected in children, in the people who follow me, and who see me as an icon in the world.
How much of your personality is seen in the Afro-Cuban training group, with Iván Pedroso, Teddy Tamgho…?
If I knew that when I met Ivan it was because of Teddy, because Teddy was world champion in Moscow 2013 and it was the first image I had of the triple ... Wow, world champion, what is it like to be world champion, the euphoria, the applause from the packed stadium, and seeing Ivan as coach. He knew that Ivan had been an athlete, all his achievements, but he did not know that he was a coach. So watching it there on TV, enjoying it, celebrating like that, caught me. From that moment I always wanted to be in tune with Iván, and two years later I wrote to him on Facebook, asking him to train me. And the moment I arrived here in Spain I always had that image in my mind, until as a matter of destiny we were able to meet and I belong to all this select group that Iván has. And, nothing, try to leave footprints, like Teddy did,and never let your guard down. The group I'm in is very competitive, very united, very compact. They are all strong, they have their goals, they are candidates to always be at the top. And always enjoying this blessing that life has given me to have Ivan as a father, Teddy as a reflection of what I can achieve, and great athletes who surround me and demand that I always bring out the best in myself.
You have great natural talent, 1.92 meters tall, 2.60 meter running steps, unique legs, fast ankles, and you are also capable of expressing it.
Not all gifted people are capable of being the best ...
I consider that God gave me a gift.
I have a gift of nature and I am fortunate to be able to work with it, to polish it, to express it, to demonstrate it.
It's not just having it, it's working on it, making it shine, making it look.
I am very happy because it is being reflected.
It is not having it, it is using it and trying with those legs to reach the greatest thing in history.
It is part of the process, of trying to always be better and enjoying ...
The best technicians say that if I ran the 200m it would be unbeatable too ...
Oh, if I knew that running is not bad for me ... But I'm not a fan of racing. If I knew that when Iván tells me, we have a long career, this, the other, a training that is based on racing, oh, no, I suffer a lot, it is something that I do not like at all, but we have to go through that. Every time I have to run a certain distance, from 150 upwards, I sweat, and I say, Ivan ... There are times when I'm at home and I know what to do, and I say, no, Ivan, I can't go today because I have an upset stomach and I feel bad ... And he already knows, and then he tries not to tell me beforehand what is my turn for when he comes to tell me what is there ... and I, where am I now ... But, I am an athlete who likes what she does, I like what I do, and if it's part of my daily work, I'm going to enjoy it even though my races are going to destroy.
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