China's Dong wins triple jump gold

Dong Bin of China celebrates winning gold in the triple jump at the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in Portland, Oregon on Saturday. He jumped 17.33m in the penultimate round to become only the third Chinese athlete to win a gold medal in t
Dong Bin of China celebrates winning gold in the triple jump at the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in Portland, Oregon on Saturday. He jumped 17.33m in the penultimate round to become only the third Chinese athlete to win a gold medal in the history of the championships.PHOTO: REUTERS

PORTLAND • Dong Bin won the men's triple jump at the World Indoor Championships in Portland and became only the third Chinese athlete to win a world indoor title on Saturday.

Dong, world leader in the season with 17.41m, took an early lead with 17.18m and then extended his lead with a 17.29m effort on his third attempt. He then leapt 17.33m in the penultimate round to grab the title.

He joins hurdler Liu Xiang (2008) and shot putter Sui Xinmei (1991) as the only Chinese athletes to reach the top of the podium in the history of the championships.

Olympic and world decathlon champion Ashton Eaton of the United States took his third consecutive heptathlon crown to complete a unique husband-and-wife double, as Americans dominated the championships.

He wrapped up a comfortable victory in the multi-discipline event by cruising home in third place in the 1,000m to roars from his hometown crowd.

His win came just 24 hours after his wife - Canada's Brianne Theisen-Eaton - had snatched a dramatic last-gasp win in the women's pentathlon on Friday to claim her first world crown.

Meanwhile, New Zealand shot put star Valerie Adams hit out at the revamped competition format after losing her world title to Michelle Carter of the US.

The 31-year-old Kiwi has been almost invincible in the event for nearly a decade, winning back-to-back Olympic titles in 2008 and 2012 and four consecutive golds at the World Championships from 2007 to 2013.

However, she had to settle for third place after her best throw of 19.25m was eclipsed by both Hungary's Anita Marton and winner Carter.

She did not mince her words over the new format in Portland, where events played out against a soundtrack of loud music, plumes of smoke and bright lights in a bid to ramp up crowd excitement.

"It was a little bit different, I must admit," Adams said.

"It was a bit of a show, really. It was dictated by TV and the crowd as opposed to performances.

"They had to trial it, and Portland was where they trialled it. I think the crowd obviously loved it. It's not my favourite, it's a lot of p*****g around but it is what it is and you just have to roll with it."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2016, with the headline 'China's Dong wins triple jump gold'. Print Edition | Subscribe