Reigning Nigeria triple jump champion and record holder Ruth Usoro has been stripped of the new Nigeria and NCAA record she set penultimate weekend after Texas Tech athletics officials say the distance on what was reported to be an NCAA record-setting triple jump was miscommunicated by 1 meter.
Meet officials at the Corky Classic reported Usoro’s second attempt of the competition as 14.76 meters, according to a report in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
Tech coach Wes Kittley said Wednesday he believed it was actually 13.76 meters.
Georgia’s Keturah Orji set the NCAA and American women’s indoor record of 14.53 meters in January 2018.
Tech assistant coach Keith Herston, who oversees Tech horizontal and high jumpers, believed the reported distance on Usoro’s jump to be inaccurate after watching it later on video.
“I think what happened, instead of saying ‘13.72,’ they said ‘14.72,’ ” Kittley said, referring to track officials at the Sports Performance Center. “They didn’t mis-measure it. They just called out the wrong thing is what we think happened.
“Which has happened before. But normally when you do that, a coach will say something. Keith was at the high jump and watched the event (triple jump, from a distance away) and he went back to coaching high jump.”
Usoro swept the triple-jump titles at last year’s NCAA indoor and outdoor meets.
“I really didn’t know anything about it until after the meet,” Kittley said.
“Coach Herston does film study and evaluates each jump, and that’s when we noticed, from the videos. You can tell where we mark, about 51 feet is the end, and when it was more in the top third of the pit, we were like, ‘That’s about a 46-foot jump, not a 48- or 49-foot jump.’
“If you watched the tape and saw her get out of the pit, I don’t think she thought it was a huge jump. Ruth is as grounded as they come. She was a little disappointed for about five minutes and now she’s ready to go.”
The 24 year old Nigerian will now be seeking qualification for the World outdoor championships in her subsequent events as her new mark of 13.76m is 56cm off the 14m 32cm entry standard set for the event which holds this July in Oregon.