Zinzi Chabangu broke the South African women’s triple jump record on Saturday, producing a 14.02m leap at an Athletics Gauteng North league Meeting in Tshwane, South Africa.
Chabangu’s performance added 13 centimetres to the previous SA mark of 13.89m, which had been set by Patience Ntshingila in Potchefstroom in March 2012.
Producing a breakthrough result, she added 37 centimetres to her two-year-old personal best.
Though Chabangu was 30cm short of the qualifying standard for this year’s Tokyo Olympics, the 23-year-old University of Johannesburg athlete took a big step forward in her first performance of the season.
“I’m absolutely shocked,” Chabangu told TuksSport in an interview after the event. “Because it is an Olympic year, the goal is to go big, but I did not expect to do so today.”
Aleck Skhosana, the President of Athletics South Africa, said: “This is beautifull! We are very proud and happy of the achievement by Zinzi. We congratulate her and her coach. This comes at the correct time when all attention is on the Olympic Games in Japan.
“We call upon her and her support team not to lose focus and work towards qualifying for the Olympics and going on to challenge the Asians and Americans for the medals spots.
“We are confident that they will be able to meet the qualifying standard soon so that she can represent her country.”