World Champs Women’s Long Jump — Mihambo Repeats

Doing it the hard way: Malaika Mihambo racked up a pair of fouls to open her title defense. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

THE SLOGAN OF Oregon22 was “Feel the Glory.” All Malaika Mihambo could do was feel the pressure.

The 28-year-old German saw the red light after each of her first two attempts. On the second, she held head in hands.

“I felt like,‘Oh no, it cannot be true,’” she said. “But I am ready for such situations, and I know that I can do better and just had to push myself.”

Mihambo was seeking a third successive global title — after golds at Doha ’19 and Tokyo ’21 — but was hardly a prohibitive favorite.

Leticia Melo seized the lead with a big PR 22-7¼ (6.89) in the first round, and Quanesha Burks and Ese Brume each leaped 22-7 (6.88) in the second. Melo’s mark would turn out to be the only lifetime best of the competition. She was also the only one who had PRed in the qualifying round.

To climb into the top 8 and earn three more attempts, Mihambo needed 21-11½ (6.69) in the third round. In the jumping order, she directly followed Brume, who extended her best to 23-½ (7.02) and overtook Melo.

Mihambo proceeded to reach 22-10¾ (6.98), and she was on her way to the top of the podium again. She went ahead with 23-3¼ (7.09) in the fourth round and capped her series with 23-4½ (7.12) in the sixth.

Brume closed the competition with 22-8 (6.91). That left her with Nigeria’s fifth silver medal overall, only minutes after hurdler Tobi Amusan won the nation’s first gold.

“Tobi Amusan is my best friend, everybody knows,” Brume said. “It was amazing for us because this is what we are trained for. She deserves it so much.”

Brume moved up from bronze medals at Doha and Tokyo.

Despite five successive fouls, Melo earned Brazil’s first WC medal in the event, a bronze. Places 3–6 were separated by only 2cm.

Burks, 27, was an NCAA Indoor winner at Alabama, this year’s U.S. champion and 13th at last year’s Olympics. She was just out of the medals in 4th, the same place she had at the 2018 indoor WC.

World leader (at 23-4¾/ 7.13) Brooke Buschkuehl of Australia was 5th at 22-6½ (6.87), same as 6th-placed Khaddi Sagnia of Sweden. The top 5 represented five continents.

Jasmine Moore, a 4-time NCAA champ this year, was 13th in qualifying at 21-8 (6.60) and did not advance.

Mihambo persevered before her run of golds, competing in the Youth (U18) Worlds as long ago as ’11. She was 4th at the Rio Olympics. She said she is turning her attention to a bid for repeat gold in the European Championships.


WOMEN’S LONG JUMP RESULTS

FINAL (July 24)

(temperature 73–88F/23–31C; humidity 63–41%)

(winds ranged from +2.1 to –1.6)

1. Malaika Mihambo (Ger) 23-4½ (7.12)

(f, f, 22-10¾, 23-3¼, f, 23-4½) (f, f, 6.98, 7.09, f, 7.12);

2. Ese Brume (Ngr) 23-½ (7.02)

(21-8¼, 22-7, 23-½, 22-6¼w, f, 22-8) (6.61, 6.88, 7.02, 6.86w, f, 6.91);

3. Leticia Melo (Bra) 22-7¼ (6.89) PR

(22-7¼, f, f, f, f, f) (6.89, f, f, f, f, f);

4. Quanesha Burks (US) 22-7 (6.88)

(21-2½, 22-7, 21-4, 21-2½w, 21-3¼, 21-2) (6.46, 6.88, 6.50, 6.46w, 6.48, 6.45);

5. Brooke Buschkuehl (Aus) 22-6½ (6.87)

(21-6¾, 22-6½, f, f, 22-2½, f) (6.57, 6.87, f, f, 6.77, f);

6. Khaddi Sagnia (Swe) 22-6½w (6.87)

(f, 21-11½, 14-11½, 21-10¼, 22-6½w, f) (f, 6.69, 4.56, 6.66, 6.87w, f);

7. Ivana Vuleta (Ser) 22-5¼ (6.84)

(f, 21-10¾, f, 22-5¼w, 22-5¼, 22-1¾) (f, 6.67, f, 6.84w, 6.84, 6.75).

8. Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (Ukr) 22-4½ (6.82)

(22-3½, f, f, f, f, 22-4½) (6.79, f, f, f, f, 6.82);

9. Jazmin Sawyers (GB) 21-8¾ (6.62)

(21-8¾, 21-4, 21-6¼) (6.62, 6.50, 6.56);

10. Lorraine Ugen (GB) 21-5¼ (6.53)

(f, 21-5¼, f) (f, 6.53, f);

11. Ruth Usoro (Ngr) 21-4¾ (6.52)

(21-4, 21-4¾, 20-8½) (6.50, 6.52, 6.31);

12. Tiffany Flynn (US) 21-3¼ (6.48)

(21-3¼, f, f) (6.48, f, f).

* = progression of the leading jump; ¶ = athlete’s best of the day
first 3 rounds
Sawyers 6.62*¶ 6.50 6.56
Flynn 6.48¶ f f
Burks 6.46 6.88¶ 6.50
Buschkuehl 6.57 6.87¶ f
Bekh-Romanchuk 6.79* f f
Usoro 6.50 6.52¶ 6.31
Ugen f 6.53¶ f
Brume 6.61 6.88 7.02*¶
Mihambo f f 6.98
Melo 6.89*¶ f f
Vuleta f 6.67 f
Sagnia f 6.69 4.56
rounds 4 & 5
Vuleta 6.84w¶ 6.84
Sagnia 6.66 6.87w¶
Bekh-Romanchuk f f
Buschkuehl f 6.77
Burks 6.46w 6.48
Melo f f
Mihambo 7.09* f
Brume 6.86w f
last round
Bekh-Romanchuk 6.82¶
Vuleta 6.75
Buschkuehl f
Sagnia f
Burks 6.45
Melo f
Brume 6.91
Mihambo 7.12*¶

QUALIFYING

(July 23; auto-qualifier 22-1¾/6.75)

Qualifiers: Burks 22-6¼ (6.86), Mihambo 22-5¼ (6.84), Brume 22-4½ (6.82), Bekh-Romanchuk 22-4¼ (6.81), Sagnia 22-3 (6.78), Buschkuehl 22-2¼ (6.76), Flynn 22-1 (6.73), Usoro 21-11½w (6.69), Sawyers & Ugen 21-11 (6.68), Vuleta 21-10 (6.65), Melo 21-9½ (6.64) PR;

Non-Qualifiers: Jasmine Moore (US) & Larissa Iapichino (Ita) 21-8 (6.60), Evelise Veiga (Por) & Fatima Diame (Spa) 21-5½ (6.54), Christabel Nettey (Can) 21-4 (6.50), Deborah Acquah (Gha) 21-2½ (6.46), Tyra Gittens (Tri) 21-1½ (6.44), Sumire Hata (Jpn) 20-11¾ (6.39), Eliane Martins (Bra) 20-9¼ (6.33), Chanice Porter (Jam) 20-7¾ (6.29), Merle Homeier (Ger) 19-11¾ (6.09), Samantha Dale (Aus) 19-9¾ (6.04), Claire Azzopardi (Mlt) 19-0 (5.79);… 3f—Milica Gardašević (Ser), Filippa Fotopoulou (Cyp).

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