By Dare Esan In Beijing:
It was a case of 3rd time lucky for Tosin Oke who hopped, stepped and jumped into his first triple jump final at the on-going 15th IAAF World Championships here in Beijing.
Oke jumped 16.74m, his second best ever mark at the championships, to qualify as the 11th best after he and seven others failed to hit the 17m qualifying mark set by the IAAF. In fact only five athletes, led by the high-flying celebrity duo of Christain Taylor and Pablo Pedro Pichardo, reached 17m.
Interestingly, Oke’s mark would not have got him to Thursday’s final in 2009 in Berlin, the year and venue he made his Worlds debut.
There he jumped 16.87m but ended up in 16th place, four places away from a final appearance.
In 2011, his mark of 16.60m would not have placed him in the final here in Beijing as he also ended up in 16th place.
He has now joined the likes of Ajayi Agbebaku who won Nigeria’s first medal in the history of the championships in 1983 and Joseph Taiwo who was also a finalist in 1987 as horizontal jump finalists.
Oke, whose coach Herbert John arrived on Tuesday from Britain, needs to hit at least a repeat his 17.23m personal best to stand a chance of first progressing into the last six in the final and possibly a place on the podium.