World bronze medallist Hugues Fabrice Zango produced the first standout athletics moment of 2021 by sailing to a world indoor triple jump record of 18.07m* in Aubiere on Saturday (16).
The 27-year-old from Burkina Faso added 15 centimetres to the previous record, set by his coach Teddy Tamgho back in 2011, and becomes the first man to leap beyond 18 metres indoors.
He opened his series with a foul but then landed a valid 17.33m effort in round two. After another foul in round three, he improved to 17.61m and then 17.70m – just seven centimetres shy of his lifetime best.
He saved his best for last, though, and bounded out to 18.07m with his sixth and final effort.
The 27-year-old triple jumper has been making history for Burkina Faso for several years, setting national and African records and racking up a collection of medals from major championships.
But Zango has now achieved another ‘first’ – and this one isn’t just a national milestone; it’s a global one.
His previous best, an outright African record of 17.77m, was set indoors in Paris last year and placed him equal fourth on the world indoor all-time list, just 15 centimetres short of the world indoor record set by his coach, Teddy Tamgho of France.
Tamgho now trails Zango by 15 centimetres on the world indoor all-time list.
“For me, the most important thing is the world record,” Zango told the Olympic Channel last year. “This is what I want to achieve. When I become world record-holder, I will have done everything.”
Zango becomes the first athlete from Burkina Faso to set a world record.
*Subject to the usual ratification procedure