Cuban triple jumper Pedro Pablo Pichardo switches to Portugal

Pedro Pablo Pichardo

One of the Caribbean’s best triple jumpers has switched allegiance and will now represent Portugal. Cuba-born Pedro Pablo Pichardo, the two-time world triple-jump silver medalist, has obtained Portuguese nationality. The 24-year-old triple jumper, who left Cuba in April, made the announcement on Thursday.

Despite the switch, Pichardo will be unable to compete for Portugal at the upcoming European championships, world championships or the Olympics until the IAAF lifts its freeze on changes of national representation.

The matter is to be discussed by the world governing body in March 2018.

“It’s up to the international federation to take the decisions it deems appropriate,” said Pichardo Thursday from Lisbon where he now competes for Benfica’s athletics club. “The bottom line is that I’m available to represent my country, which is now Portugal.”

The former world junior champion is one of only five triple jumpers to leap beyond 18 meters and is seen as a major threat to the dominance of American star, Christian Taylor.

Pichardo, who has a personal best of 18.08 meters, won silver medals at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships in Moscow and Beijing, respectively.

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