World Champs Women’s Long Jump: Third Time’s The Charm

Malaika Mihambo couldn’t find the board on her first 2 attempts, then exploded. (VICTOR SAILER/PHOTO RUN)

GERMANY’S Malaika Mihambo has been in fine form for months, having been unbeaten since May and with 5 meets over 7m/23ft to her name. She looked every part the favorite in the prelims too, flying out to 22-10¾ (6.98) with her first attempt to lead the way. However, for the first two rounds of the final it looked like an upset might be in the cards.

The 25-year-old European champ took off almost exactly a foot behind the board on her first jump but still recorded 21-4¾ (6.52) before going way over the plasticine on her second. But the latter attempt gave a hint of what was to come, from takeoff to landing looking like a 24-footer. Still, at that stage she was facing not making the top 8 at all, but with her third try she hit the board squarely—albeit with 3 inches to spare—and cut the sand at a world-leading 23-11½ (7.30).

The jump moved her to =No. 12 on the all-time list, improving her PR by almost 6 inches from her previous best of 23-6 (7.16), and the competition was effectively over. She passed her fourth attempt, then put up good-enough-to-win performances in the last two rounds, hitting 23-3¼ (7.09) and 23-6 (7.16), her final jump coming with the contest won and with her toe barely on the board.

“With my third attempt I just was trying to make a secure jump to get into the next round. I was just telling myself that the next jump is not going to be a foul,” she reflected. “For sure, I was not trying to go to 7.30 but in the end, it was what happened. I’m really proud and speechless. The Brussels Diamond League Final [when she won with 23-¾/7.03] was good and I knew that my physical level was something around 7.20 [23-7½] but my coach told me, ‘You can jump farther.’ And I just did it.”

Mihambo had little time to celebrate. She revealed at the post-event interview session that she was booked on a flight to Bangkok less than 10 hours later and planned to backpack around Thailand for a month as a way of unwinding from her mega-season.

No other woman got over 7m. Silver and bronze went to Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (22-8½/6.92) and Ese Brume (22-8/6.91). The Ukrainian opened with 22-4¼ (6.81) but was down in 3rd until round 4, when she produced her best jump, just a centimeter shy of her PR to clinch 2nd again behind Mihambo after also taking the silver at the Euros a year ago. The Nigerian led for the first two rounds after jumps of 22-5 (6.83) and 22-8 (6.91) but couldn’t improve after the second stanza although she had three other jumps of 22-5¼ (6.84) or better.

American Tori Bowie surprised in 4th, producing her best jump since ’14, with 22-4¼ (6.81) in the fourth round while teammate Sha’Keela Saunders was 9th with 21-5½ (6.54). Saunders had just sneaked into the final with her third-round 21-5¼ (6.53) to take 12th place in the qualifiers, which had the effect of edging out 4-time winner Brittney Reese. The defending champion saw her hopes of regaining her title from 2 years ago evaporate when her final attempt yielded a 21-4¾ (6.52), a centimeter short of advancing. Fourth American Jasmine Todd was another centimeter back with 21-4¼ (6.51) to place 14th in the prelims.


WC WOMEN’S LONG JUMP RESULTS

FINAL

(October 06) (temperature 75F/24C; humidity 64%)

1. Malaika Mihambo (Ger) 23-11½ (7.30) PR (WL) (12, x W)

(21-4¾, f, 23-11½, p, 23-3¼, 23-6) (6.52, f, 7.30, p, 7.09, 7.16);

2. Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (Ukr) 22-8½ (6.92)

(22-4¼, f, 22-2½, f, 22-8½, 22-¾) (6.81, f, 6.77, f, 6.92, 6.72);

3. Ese Brume (Ngr) 22-8 (6.91)

(22-5, 22-8, 22-7¾, 22-6½, 22-5¼, 21-2) (6.83, 6.91, 6.90, 6.87, 6.84, 6.45);

4. Tori Bowie (US) 22-4¼ (6.81)

(21-8¼, 21-3½, f, 22-4¼, 21-10, 21-6¾) (6.61, 6.49, f, 6.81, 6.65, 6.57);

5. Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova (Blr) 22-2¼ (6.76)

(21-5¼, f, 22-2¼, 21-11¾, 21-6, 22-¼) (6.53, f, 6.76, 6.70, 6.55, 6.71);

6. Alina Rotaru (Rom) 22-¼ (6.71)

(21-7½, 21-10¼, 21-10¾, f, 22-¼, f) (6.59, 6.66, 6.67, f, 6.71, f);

7. Abigail Irozuru (GB) 21-9½ (6.64)

(21-9½, f, 21-7½, 21-7½, 21-8, f) (6.64, f, 6.59, 6.59, 6.60, f);

8. Chanice Porter (Jam) 21-6¼ (6.56)

(20-8, 21-1½, 21-6¼, 21-1½, 20-5¾, 21-2¾) (6.30, 6.44, 6.56, 6.44, 6.24, 6.47);

9. Sha’Keela Saunders (US) 21-5½ (6.54) (f, 20-7¼, 21-5½) (f, 6.28, 6.54);

10. Brooke Stratton (Aus) 21-2½ (6.46)

(21-2½, f, 21-¾) (6.46, f, 6.42);

11. Shara Proctor (GB) 21-1¼ (6.43)

(f, 20-9¾, 21-1¼) (f, 6.34, 6.43);

12. Anasztázia Nguyen (Hun) 20-6½ (6.26)

(f, 20-6½, f) (f, 6.26, f).

first 3 rounds
* = progression of the leading jump
¶ = athlete’s best of the day
Brume 6.83* 6.91*¶ 6.90
Rotaru 6.59 6.66 6.67
B-Romanchuk 6.81 f 6.77
M-Ivanova 6.53 f 6.76¶
Stratton 6.46¶ f 6.42
Mihambo 6.52 f 7.30*¶
Saunders f 6.28 6.54¶
Proctor f 6.34 6.43¶
Nguyen f 6.26¶ f
Porter 6.30 6.44 6.56¶
Bowie 6.61 6.49 f
Irozuru 6.64¶ f 6.59
rounds 4 & 5
Porter 6.44 6.24
Bowie 6.81¶ 6.65
Irozuru 6.59 6.60
Rotaru f 6.71¶
M-Ivanova 6.70 6.55
B-Romanchuk f 6.92¶
Brume 6.87 6.84
Mihambo p 7.09
last round
Porter 6.47
Irozuru f
Rotaru f
M-Ivanova 6.71
Bowie 6.57
Brume 6.45
B-Romanchuk 6.72
Mihambo 7.16

QUALIFYING

(October 05)

Qualifiers: Mihambo 22-10¾ (6.98), Brume 22-7¼ (6.89), Bowie 22-2½ (6.77), Bekh-Romanchuk 22-1½ (6.74), Rotaru 22-¾ (6.72), Irozuru 21-11¾ (6.70), Mironchyk-Ivanova 21-11½ (6.69), Proctor 21-9 (6.63), Stratton 21-7¼ (6.58), Porter 21-6¾ (6.57), Nguyen 21-5½ (6.54), Saunders 21-5¼ (6.53).

Non-qualifiers: Brittney Reese (US) 21-4¾ (6.52), Jasmine Todd (US) 21-4¼ (6.51), Eliane Martins (Bra) 21-4 (6.50), Tissanna Hickling (Jam) 21-3½ (6.49), Tilde Johansson (Swe) 21-3¼ (6.48), Hilary Kpatcha (Fra) 21-2¾ (6.47), Yanis David (Fra), Éloyse Lesueur-Aymonin (Fra) & Jazmin Sawyers (GB) 21-2½ (6.46), Chantel Malone (BVI) 21-2 (6.45), Petra Beáta Farkas (Hun) 21-1½ (6.44), Yelena Sokolova (Rus) 21-1¼ (6.43), Adriana Rodríguez (Cub) 20-11¾ (6.39), Maria Natalia Londa (Ina) 20-10½ (6.36), Taika Koilahti (Fin) 20-10 (6.35), Tania Vicenzino (Ita) 20-5¼ (6.23), Florentina Costina Iusco (Rom) 20-5 (6.22), Nektaria Panagi (Cyp) 20-4½ (6.21), Laura Strati (Ita) 19-10¼ (6.05). ◻︎

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