Yulimar Rojas is an outstanding Venezuelan Olympic athlete world champion that was the athlete most voted by the press. Rojas won the award for Best Female Athlete of 2021 from the International Association of American Sports Press (AIPS).
This Venezuelan athlete wrote one of the most important chapters in sports history in the Olympics games in Tokyo 2021 when she won the gold medal. She jumped to a dimension that any jumper had never reached before and pushed herself up to 15.67 meters. After that, she left behind what had been the record of the specialty for 25 years; 15.50 of the Ukrainian Inessa Kravets in 1995.
In 2021, Rojas also won the Diamond League and added the best record in the indoor specialty. Another achievement has been to become the first Latina woman in athletics to be recognized by Guinness World Records.
Yulimar Rojas History
She was born on October 8, 1995, in Caracas, Venezuela, but raised in the coastal city of Puerto la Cruz, where she took her first steps in athletics. At first, she was only interested in playing volleyball, the sport she practiced as a hobby for many years.
Inspired by the Venezuelan volleyball team, she approached the Puerto la Cruz sports center. She intended to represent her country in this sport. But there was no volleyball coach in the region, so she was captured by athletic teachers who recognized her good biotype, height, and long legs. From that moment, Yulimar Rojas began to practice the high, triple, and long jump modalities.
Curious Facts about her Career
Her perseverance and discipline gave her other recognitions, such as the South American youth record in the high jump with the 1.87-meter mark, in Barquisimeto, Venezuela.
One of her greatest idols is her current coach, Iván Pedroso, the Cuban athlete nine times world champion in the long jump. Yulimar Rojas comments that one day decided to contact him through Facebook to ask him to be her coach. “I really like social networks. When Facebook suggested him to me as a friend, I decided to write to him. I told him that I was a young athlete from Venezuela, that he was my idol, and that I wanted to train with him”.
Two months later, he made his dream come true and began working with Iván Pedroso in Madrid, Spain. With Pedroso’s experience and Yulimar’s dedication, the results were swift. At just 18 years old, she won the gold medal at the 2014 South American Games, in the high jump with 1.79 meters.
From High Jump to Triple Jump
Although the triple jump was not in her plans, the opportunity came to her in 2014 when she participated in the World Junior Athletics Championships in Eugene, United States. With a mark of 12.99 meters, Yulimar conquered first place in that competition.
Later, at age 19, she won the continental triple jump title at the South American Athletics Championships. Two years later, the Venezuelan athlete won the Madrid Winter Trophy, with the mark of 14.69 meters in the triple jump.
In March 2016, she became the youngest indoor triple jump world champion in history, with a record of 14.41 meters in Portland, United States. With this result, Yulimar was also crowned the first Venezuelan to get a gold medal in this discipline.
Over the years, the Venezuelan jumper, in addition to surpassing her opponents, has managed to beat her marks. Proof of this is the record of 15.43 meters obtained on February 21, 2020, at the Meeting in Madrid, Spain, and the 15.67 meters in Tokio 2021
Awards and Recognitions
Yulimar Rojas has accolades as a two-time world champion in indoor track and a three-time world champion in long indoor track. She is also a two-time world outdoor champion in the triple jump specialty and several times Pan American, Bolivarian, and South American medalist.
Thanks to her outstanding Olympic career, she has been awarded as the Best Female Athlete of the Year 2020 by the World Athletics and the Best Female Athlete of 2021 by the International Association of American Sports Press. In addition, the Venezuelan jumper became in April 2021 the first Venezuelan athletics competitor to be recognized by Guinness World Records. This recognition is thanks to the longest triple jump in history in an indoor competition in the women’s category.
She affirms that she is proud of this well-deserved award: “I am very, very happy, very amazed and very motivated to do my best and even more because today I receive my Guinness Record plaque.”
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