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Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan compete in the Women''s Triple Jump final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England. Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images
Olga Rypakova: Kazakhstan’s triple jump queen


15 Oct 2012
In the 11th of our series of 20 OCA Award winners from the London Olympics, the spotlight falls on Kazakhstan’s Olga Rypakova, who became the first Asian athlete to win the triple jump at an Olympic Games. The OCA Awards will be presented at the OCA Banquet in Macau, China, on November 8. Olga Rypakova’s decision to focus on the triple jump instead of the long jump and heptathlon has proved to be a good one – a golden one, in fact.

The 27-year-old Kazakh track and field champion produced a season’s best leap of 14.98 metres when it mattered most to win the gold medal at the Olympic Stadium. Rypakova, who won silver at last year's world championships in Daegu, Korea, set the winning mark with her third attempt. Her previous season's best was 14.84.

A student at the Kazakh Academy of Sport and Tourism in Almaty, Rypakova made her debut for Kazakhstan in 2005 at the Asian Championships in Korea. She took up athletics at the age of eight and started competing in triple jump events in 2007. Her father was a decathlete, so Olga was into multiple athletics events and was originally a heptathlete before competing in the long jump and triple jump.

Before London 2012, her most memorable moment had been winning the gold medal in the triple jump at the 2010 World Indoor Championships at Doha, Qatar. She had finished fourth in the TJ at Beijing 2008 with a distance of 15.11 metres.
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