Yargelis Savigne was the top women’s triple jumper of 2009. Although Russia’s Nadezhda Alekhina boasted the year’s top jump (15.14 meters, 49 feet, 8 inches), Savigne owned the remainder of the year’s top ten. Along the way she earned her second consecutive World Outdoor Championship with a leap measuring 14.95/49-¾ in Berlin. Savigne had the top three jumps during the competition.
World Championship success:
Savigne broke through with a World Championship victory in the triple jump in 2007. She established a personal best, broke the Cuban national record and became just the sixth triple jumper in World Championship history to top 50 feet with a winning, first-round jump of 15.28/50-1¾. In 2008 Savigne pulled a hamstring muscle and couldn’t compete for the month prior to the World Indoor Championships. She emerged victorious nevertheless with a final-round effort of 15.05/49-4½, establishing an indoor personal best and a national record.
Savigne almost earned two medals at the 2005 World Championships. She placed fourth in the long jump (6.99/22-11¼) and gained a silver in the triple jump (14.82/48-7½), improving her personal best three times and setting a then-Cuban record in the latter event. In 2006 she was fifth in the triple jump and sixth in the long jump at the World Indoor Championships. At the Beijing Olympics Savigne was fifth in the triple jump but failed to reach the final in the long jump.
Savigne took up track and field as a sprinter at age 11 but quickly moved to the jumps. She learned the triple jump but initially focused on the long jump. Yargelis won the Cuban National Junior Championship in 2001, the Caribbean and Central American Championships in 2002, and in 2003 briefly held the Cuban junior long jump record (6.63/21-9). With a shortage of long jump competitions on the 2005 European tour, her coach Milan Matos suggested she also triple jump. Using just a 9-step approach, Savigne placed second in her initial competition (14.12/46-4), then won in Zaragoza with an 11-step approach (14.56/47-9¼).
Savigne, whose family nickname is “Yayi,” is managed by 1992 Olympic high jump gold medalist Javier Sotomayor.
- Height: 5-5
- Weight: 117
- Birth date: November 13, 1984
- Hometown: Havana, Cuba
- World Championships: Three (two outdoor, one indoor)
- Personal best: 15.28 (triple jump); 6.79 (long jump)