Will Claye Regains Triple Jump World Indoor Title in Nail-biting Finish

Experienced Claye Regains Triple Jump World Indoor Title in Thrilling Finale

In a captivating display of veteran poise and youthful talent, Will Claye reclaimed the triple jump world indoor title he last won six years ago, emerging victorious in the closest final ever witnessed at the World Indoor Championships.

The hard-fought contest saw the lead change hands multiple times during the first four rounds, with just three centimeters separating the medalists in the end. Portugal’s legendary 2007 world champion and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Nelson Evora started strong, leading after the opening round with a jump of 17.14m. Azerbaijan’s Alexis Copello then took the top spot in the second round, leaping 17.17m, only to be surpassed by Brazilian newcomer Almir dos Santos, who soared to 17.22m.

Evora reclaimed the lead in the third round with a Portuguese indoor record of 17.40m, but Claye, who was sitting in sixth at the halfway point, found his groove. Mirroring his winning performance from the 2012 Istanbul World Indoors, the American secured the gold medal with a magnificent 17.43m jump in the fourth round. Dos Santos nearly matched Claye’s effort, producing a personal best of 17.41m in the next round, but ultimately fell just two centimeters short of the champion.

“I have only had one practice session this whole season, so I was just trying to get in my rhythm,” said Claye, who hinted at potentially skipping the outdoor campaign to focus on his music career. “It came together on one jump. A win is a win, so I’ll take that.”

Copello placed fourth, while USA’s Chris Carter’s fifth-round jump of 17.15m moved Burkina Faso’s Hugues Fabrice Zango down to sixth. Defending champion Bin Dong of China finished eighth with a best of 16.84m. Despite a 14th-place finish with a jump of 15.96m, 41-year-old Italian Fabrizio Donato made history as the oldest-ever field event finalist at a World Indoor Championships.

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