Almir Dos Santos: From High Jump Star to Triple Jump Phenom

Soaring to New Heights: Almir Dos Santos’ Journey from High Jump to Triple Jump Dominance

Former high jumper Almir Dos Santos has taken the triple jump world by storm this season, emerging as a rising force in the event. The world indoor silver medalist from Brazil reflects on his remarkable journey, from a memorable high point to a challenging low moment.

“Jumping my personal best of 17.35m in Madrid was the highlight of my life so far,” says Dos Santos, crediting the unwavering support of his coach ‘Arataca’ (José Haroldo Loureiro Gomes), his support team, and his club Sogipa based in Porto Alegre, for making his success possible.

Dos Santos, initially a high jumper, decided to take on the triple jump at the end of 2016, drawing inspiration from his junior experiences and a hidden passion for the horizontal jumps. “I was aware that some things I was doing in practice were comparable to the top triple jumpers, so I was curious to see if it would translate to competitive results,” he explains.

His first triple jump competition since his junior days, held in Sao Paulo late in 2016, saw him soar to 15.89m, a promising national-level debut. Veteran coach Nelio Moura took notice, suggesting to Dos Santos’ coach that the young athlete’s future lay in the triple jump. With a new Olympic cycle underway, Dos Santos and his coach made the strategic decision to switch events and focus on the triple jump.

The transition was not without its challenges. “The preparation for the triple jump take-off was very different to the high jump, and changing the approach and take-off board, along with sustaining the high intensity through the three phases, were the greatest obstacles,” Dos Santos recalls.

However, he rose to the occasion, enjoying a breakthrough year in 2017 with a jump of 16.86m in Porto Alegre, equaling the qualifying standard for the 2016 Olympics. His progress continued, culminating in a personal best of 17.06m in the USA in early 2018, followed by a stunning 17.35m in Madrid, where Dos Santos had the thrill of beating his idol, the legendary Nelson Evora.

“As soon as I hit the take-off board, I knew it was going to be a very good jump,” Dos Santos reflects. “To win this competition and beat someone I’ve admired so much was a very special moment for me.”

While Dos Santos has enjoyed remarkable highs, he has also faced significant challenges. In 2014, a broken bone in his foot during training led to a lengthy rehabilitation process, testing his resilience. “Athletics was my life, and I found this period very tough,” he admits. Earlier setbacks, including a stress fracture in 2013 and various other injuries, had also threatened to derail his career.

Yet, with the unwavering support of his team and club, Dos Santos has emerged stronger, setting his sights on the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games. “Hopefully, with their help, I’ll be able to achieve my goals,” he says, determined to continue his ascent in the triple jump.

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