Women Long Jump Final
Burrell joins elite 7-metre Club
After spending most of the womens long jump competition frustratingly stuck just on the edge of the medalsshe was 3rd at the end of rounds two and three and 4th at the end of one, four and fiveDawn Burrell not only climbed into A medal in the final round, she also claimed THE medal. It wasnt a gold that anyone had predicted. Nor was it expected that she would join the elite 7-metre club, which she did with her 7.03 bound.
"My last jump came from deep within me," said the 26-year-old American, the sister of now-retired sprinter and coach Leroy Burrell. "It feels good to be a champion and especially to finally get my 7-metre jump. People were jumping 6.98 left and right so I knew I had to jump at least 7m to win."
The years only previous 7m jumper, Lyudmila Galkina of Russia, improved on almost every jump, but could reach no farther than 6.71 for 6th. One place in front of her came Olympic champion Heike Drechsler of Germany (6.75).
First-round leader Fiona May of Italy (6.87) never improved on her opening-round jump and ended up just out of the medals behind Spains Niurka Montalvo (6.88). Russias Tatyana Kotova took over the lead in the second round with a 6.88, matched that in the third and improved to 6.94 and 6.98 in four and five.
In the climactic sixth round, Burrell streaked down the runway, landed far into the pit, kicking sand at the womens 3000 runners, who were passing by at the time, and erupted with glee. The indicator confirmed her pleasure, but then she had to sit through the final jumps of Montalvo (whose 6.88 pushed her past May), May (who failed to improve) and former leader Kotova. After a moment of concentration, Kotova sped down the runway but was unfortunate enough to have an official step into her path. The crowd was not amused, and when Kotova requested a rhythmic clap they responded enthusiastically. It wasnt enough, as she fouled, and the championships had another improbable winner.