07 MAR 2004 General News

Women Long Jump Final

Tatyana Lebedeva successfully achieved her goal of winning two gold medals in Budapest by taking the women's long jump title in a world-leading 6.98, following yesterday's world-record barrage in the triple jump. 

It marked the first time in World Indoor Championships history that the two horizontal jump crowns had been won by the same athlete. 

If there were any lingering questions about the Lebedeva's stamina after yesterday's full day of triple and long jumping, they were answered on the Russian's opening effort of 6.89, which she extended to 6.98 on her next attempt.  This was, after all, the same Lebedeva who had won the world triple-jump title in Paris last August less than a year after the birth of her daughter.

(Strength and resilience seem to be in plentiful supply in Volgograd, as the city also claims pole vaulter winner Yelena Isinbayeva and long jump silver medallist Vitaliy Shkurlatov.) 

Just after the Russian's first two powerful jumps, a new challenger appeared in the person of Sweden's Carolina Kluft. 

The world heptathlon champion sailed to a Swedish record 6.92 on her second jump - which the judges declared to be legal only after a long and careful examination of the jumping board - and then she matched that distance on her next attempt. 

Meanwhile, defending champion Tatyana Kotova had started slowly, but in the fifth round, the Russian leaped a season-best 6.93 to move into second ahead of Kluft. 

On the next jump, the Swede pushed hard to attack the distances posted by the two Russians.  An off-balance effort resulted in injury and Kluft was taken from the arena on a stretcher, ending any challenge to the Russian one-two finish in the event and leaving Kluft with the bronze.

The top qualifier from Saturday, China's Guan Yingnan, saw an early 6.75 stand up for fourth place, while the next two spots went to Valentina Gotovska of Latvia (6.67) and former world outdoor champion Fiona May of Italy (6.64).