Tatyana Kotova had been waiting for this since Helsinki when the unsung Tianna Madison snatched gold from her grasp in the Finnish rain. This time there was to be no surprise, as the Russian killed the competition off in round one with a world leading 7.00m. She had qualified with ease with one jump at 6.73 the day before and said. “I usually add around 20cm to my qualification in the finals, so if that happens, it should be OK.” She was as good as her word.
But Madison is too good an athlete to be phased by that and came back in round two with a season’s best 6.75. It was something to build on.
Portugal’s Nadia Gomes was close on her heels 3cm down. Kotova meanwhile backed up her lead with 7.89. Spain's Concha Montaner went out to a season’s best of 6.64 but made no impression on the medals.
Then Gomes, 2004 World Indoor Pentathlon gold, increased her Portuguese record again here with 6.75 and moved into silver, shunting Madison to bronze. The Portuguese was to make a big effort in round five but fouled and threw a handful of sand away in fury.
In round six the competition for the minor medals was to come alight as the Spaniard pulled out a season’s best 6.76 to move briefly into silver.
Madison responded with a PB of 6.80 to regain silver while Gomes then pulls out all the stops for yet another national record of 6.76.