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Triple-jumper Pichardo gets Portuguese nationality

© AFP/File | Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Cuba competes in the men's triple jump at CIBC Athletics Stadium at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, July 24, 2015

LISBON (AFP) - 

Two-time world triple-jump silver medallist Pedro Pablo Pichardo has obtained Portuguese nationality after leaving Cuba in April, he announced on Thursday.

The 24-year-old, who has an impressive personal best of 18.08 metres, won silver medals at the 2013 and 2015 world championships while representing Cuba.

However, Pichardo will not be able to compete in European championships, world championships or the Olympics until the IAAF lifts its freeze on nationality changes, which it will discuss at a meeting in March.

"These questions don't depend on me, it's up to the international federation to take the decisions it deems appropriate," he told a press conference at the Estadio da Luz in 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 metres, and is seen as a major threat to the dominance of American star Christian Taylor.

© 2017 AFP