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Ana Peleteiro-Compaoré: "I am going to Rome and I want gold"

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  • Ana Peleteiro-Compaoré: "I am going to Rome and I want gold"

Ana Peleteiro-Compaoré has a habit of rising to the occasion and producing her best jumps when it matters.

Prior to last month’s World Athletics Indoor Championships, the Spanish triple jumper’s best three marks had come at global or continental championships and there is a sprinkling of similar big-time performances in her top 10 list.

Consequently, it should have come as no surprise to anyone that having made it to Glasgow, albeit somewhat through the backdoor via her place on the World Athletics Rankings, she uncorked a Spanish indoor record of 14.75m to finish as the leading European and end her time in Scotland with a bronze medal around her neck.

In fact, her distance – which came in the fifth round but was preceded earlier in the competition with marks of 14.67m and 14.64m which would have also seen her comfortably stand on the podium – was her second best ever, only shaded in her personal statistics by the Spanish record of 14.87m she produced at the Tokyo Olympic Games three summers ago when she also took the bronze medal.

Double delight

Not surprisingly, Peleteiro-Compaoré – now proudly competing with a double-barrelled name after getting married to France’s 2014 European triple jump champion Benjamin Compaoré in September last year – will go to the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships as one of the favourites for gold.

It's an assessment, she doesn’t dispute and actively embraces. “The European Championship in Rome is coming, and I want gold,” she declared in Glasgow.

If she does stand on top of the podium in the Italian capital it will be her first major outdoor title, although she did capture the 2019 European indoor crown, also in Glasgow.

After her most recent success in Glasgow, Peleteiro-Compaoré now has six major championships medals to her name including a 2018 European Athletics Championships bronze medal.

However, she missed Munich 2022 as she was in the latter stages of pregnancy with her daughter Lúa and an additional factor in her hunger to win in the Eternal City is that is still bristling about the fact that many people on social media – as well as some in the Spanish mainstream media – were perceived as writing her off when she missed 2022 due to being on maternity leave from the sport.

“This [bronze medal] is the result of a lot of effort. They [on social media] retired me 14 months ago and, even further back, 20 months ago.

"Yet, here I am again, winning Spain's first medal [in Glasgow]," she proudly told the massed ranks of the Spanish media at the World Athletics Indoor Championships.

“I was a bit emotional. It was a big fight this year coming back after my pregnancy. My coach [Cuba’s four-time world long jump champion Ivan Pedroso] and I know how much I work I did to arrive here in the right shape. I saw myself fighting from the first jump to the last [in Glasgow].

Come back stronger

“People always say you come back stronger after pregnancy. I do not know if it is true, but I am happy to be stronger because I could claim another medal at the Olympics.

“I arrived [in Glasgow] under the radar,” she reflected. “But the summer is going to be completely different, people are going to train a lot, anything can happen, so I have to continue and let this just be a springboard.

“This is just one more step to reach 15 metres, I have to take one more step. I'm not there yet but Ivan tells me, ‘Yes you can do it,’ but I think I still need a little work.

Nineteen European female triple jumpers have gone over 15 metres in their careers and Peleteiro-Compaoré could well be the 20th in the near future, but she may have to achieve that halcyon distance to get gold.

Bekh-Romanchuk and Mamona beckon

The biggest threat to the Spaniard may come from two women she has not faced in competition for more than two years but can both boast of personal bests over 15 metres: Ukraine’s reigning European champion Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk and her 2016 counterpart Portugal’s Patricia Mamona.

Bekh-Romanchuk, who won with a personal best of 15.02m in Munich two years ago and took silver at the World Athletics Championships last summer, skipped the rest of the indoor season and prioritised the summer after just one meeting in Dortmund, Germany where she contested the 60m and long jump due to Achilles problems.

However, Bekh-Romanchuk's Instagram account shows that she is back in full training at her warm weather camp in southern Portugal.

By contrast, Mamona’s Instagram account shows that the 2021 European indoor champion, who finished one place in front of Peleteiro in Tokyo after jumping a national record of 15.01m, has departed her native country and been a training camp in Türkiye in recent weeks.

Mamona has also apparently been training well after missing all of last summer due to problems with both knees, which she put down to years of wear-and-tear from being one of the top exponents in the women’s triple jump.

Nevertheless, despite both Bekh-Romanchuk and Mamona as well as several other potential medal contenders waiting in the wings to do battle with Peleteiro-Compaoré in Rome , the Spaniard declared in Glasgow: “You can all write this headline, Peleteiro is back.”

Phil Minshull for European Athletics

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