06 MAR 2004 General News

Women Long Jump Qualification

With automatic qualifying set a 6.62, season leader Tatyana Lebedeva of Russia took one jump in the late-morning session, a 6.78, and immediately went to her hotel to ponder her participation in the triple jump final due to start less than four hours later. 

The afternoon group produced the best performances overall, with China's Guan Yingnan leaping a PB 6.80.  Sweden's Carolina Kluft, the world heptathlon champion, had earlier said that she was coming to Budapest to "have fun, but to do my best."  Her idea of fun was probably not to register fouls on her first two attempts, but with elimination staring her in the face, she tore down the runway and came up with an indoor PB of 6.73.

Other automatic qualifiers came from former outdoor world champion Fiona May of Italy (6.64), current world junior champion  Adina Anton of Romania (PB 6.63), and the defending world indoor champion, Tatyana Kotova of Russia (6.62). 

Also advancing to fill out the slate of eight finalists was the oldest competitor in the field, 38-year-old Valentina Gotovska of Latvia (6.55) and Birmingham finalist Concepcion Montaner of Spain (6.54). 

Another finalist from last year's competition, Stiliana Pilatou of Greece, failed to survive the round by a single centimetre (6.53).  Also falling out of contention were her teammate Niki Xanthou, the current European indoor champion, and current Commonwealth champion Eva Goulbourne of Jamaica, both at 6.43, as well as Commonwealth record holder and Paris finalist, Bronwyn Thompson of Australia (6.51).