Brittney Reese became the first woman to win back to back Long Jump World indoor titles when she landed to a superb 7.23 last round effort, the longest mark indoors since 1989!
In the process, Reese set a New American record and now stands in third on the all-time indoor lists; her effort is only 14 centimetres off Heike Drechler's 14-year-old World Indoor Record!
Reese is also one of only 2 women to have won back to back World Long Jump titles outdoors alongside the legendary Jackie Joyner-Kersee. She has now come full circle since her fifth place at the Beijing Olympic Games winning all the global titles at stake since 2009 – that is 2 outdoors and 2 indoors.
Here in Istanbul, things hadn’t started in the best of ways, Reese opening with 2 fouls. She finally got into serious business when she landed at 6.82 with her third round attempt which saw her move up into second just 3 centimetres behind European Indoor Champion Darya Klishina.
Shara Proctor who had also recorded 2 fouls, shook the standings up as she equalled her 6.86 British record and jumped into gold medal position by the smallest of margins.
After 3 rounds it was Proctor in gold, Klishina in silver, Reese in bronze with US indoor champion Janay Deloach who had led the previous day’s qualifiers in fourth at 6.78.
The first one to put the pressure was the defending champion, Reese landing to a World leading 6.92 in the fourth round and for the first time today she found herself in the driver’s seat.
The fifth round saw no-one improve and so it was all down to the final round with Deloach still out of the podium and Reese leading from Proctor and Klishina.
Eventually it would be Klishina remaining off the podium, the Russian unable to improve and respond to the American duo’s tremendous closing attempts.
Deloach was up first, determined as she was she sped down the run way and right from take-off it looked big. The scoreboard flashed a season’s best and world leading 6.98 which took the US champion all the way from fourth to top.
Proctor responded well and improved her national record by a further 2 centimetres but it meant no improvement in the standings – she would be content with bronze winning her country’s first World Indoor ever medal in the event.
There was only one woman who could now redistribute the medals and not only did she manage to get back into gold medal position with her superb final jump, Reese also took the event with the biggest ever winning margin.
It was the first ever double for team USA in the women’s Long Jump World Indoor championships.
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF