Dominica's Thea LaFond Makes History with Gold in Women’s Triple Jump
Dominica's Thea LaFond Makes History with Gold in Women’s Triple Jump

Thea LaFond soared to a world-leading 15.01m in the Women’s Triple Jump Final, securing Dominica’s first indoor and women’s world title. She topped the field at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24 Sunday (4 Mar).

After the results were confirmed, Thea LaFond rushed into her coach and husband’s arms before dropping in gratitude.

“I always say It’s a privilege,” said LaFond in an interview with CBC. “It really, really is.” ALSO READ: Devynne Charlton Sets New World Record in 60m Hurdles, Claims First Global Title

Born in Dominica, LaFond moved to Maryland, USA, during elementary school. While at the University of Maryland, she represented her native country internationally, despite being a U.S. resident.

Facing early career challenges, including coaching changes and technique adjustments, LaFond balanced teaching with training before pursuing her athletic dreams full-time.

“I used to be a teacher, I used to wake up and workout at 5:00 AM in the morning, go to a classroom and be on the track afterwards.”

She overcame these hurdles to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics and subsequent World Championships.

In 2018, LaFond became the first Dominican to medal in the Commonwealth Games in Australia. In Tokyo 2020, she reached her first Olympic final and subsequent World Championship finals.

In Glasgow, LaFond clinched gold and set a new national record on her second attempt, her second world-leading jump of the season.

Cuban Leyanis Perez Hernandez took second place with 14.90m, while Spain’s Ana Peleteiro-Compaore claimed bronze with 14.75m.

Thea LaFond’s triumph shut out competitors like former American record holder Keturah Orji and compatriot Jasmine Moore.

Reflecting on her achievement, LaFond remarked, “I’m learning bits of history as people tell me; so, when I came out here and jumped that jump, I was like, ok it’s far enough; ok, I won, and ok, Dominica looks good.”

“My people have been behind me since I was 16 doing this, and to finally bring home a gold is so special,” said LaFond. “I’m so proud to be from that beautiful land; thank you, Dominica.”

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