Olympic triple jump champ barred from track and field worlds over shoe issue
Rojas wore unapproved footwear for qualifying leap; pole vaulter Kendricks also out
Olympic triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas cannot compete in long jump at the world championships in Oregon this month because her qualifying leap was done in unapproved shoes.
Track and field's governing body World Athletics said Wednesday a jump by Rojas in Spain in June, which was long enough to qualify, "was not a valid result as she was wearing triple jump shoes which are not approved for long jump."
The soles of long jump shoes are allowed a maximum thickness of 20 millimetres, while the limit for triple jump is 25 mm.
Rojas' long jump in Spain measured 6.93 metres, a distance that would have taken a silver medal at the 2019 worlds. She was then prevented by injury from competing again to get a valid qualifying mark, the governing body said in a statement.
"We know this is disappointing for Ms. Rojas and her legions of fans," World Athletics said, "but we very much look forward to watching Ms. Rojas compete in the triple jump."
The 26-year-old Venezuelan is the two-time defending champion in triple jump and set two world records in the past year.
Rojas set the outdoor record of 15.67 at the Tokyo Olympics last August and landed a 15.74 leap at the indoor worlds held in March at Belgrade, Serbia.
The women's triple jump final is scheduled July 18 at the worlds in Eugene from July 15-24.
Slow recovery keeps pole vaulter sidelined
American double world champion Sam Kendricks will not defend his pole vault title in Eugene after his recovery from surgery took longer than expected, his agent said Wednesday.
The 29-year-old has not competed since April and had knee surgery on May 2.
"Although we hoped he would be at 100 per cent for the world championships, it has been a slower healing process than we expected," Kendricks' agent, Paul Doyle, told Reuters via email.
"Sam felt his time would be better spent rehabbing to get [ready] for meets post-world championships."
The news marks the latest disappointment for the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist, who missed out on competing at the Tokyo Games last summer after testing positive for COVID-19.
He produced a vault of 5.97 metres to win in 2019 and collected gold in 2017 with a leap of 5.95.
Also Wednesday, 2017 javelin world champion Johannes Vetter of Germany said he would also miss the world championships.
With files from Reuters