Naide Gomes seems to have a close affinity with and affection for indoor competition. The two-time reigning European Indoor Long Jump champion won bronze at the 2006 World Indoors, and of course was the Pentathlon gold medallist in 2004.
Taking the lead in round two when breaking the sand at 6.82m, the 28-year-old Portuguese found herself overtaken by Brazilian Maurren Higa Maggi’s 6.89m Area record in the next series of jumps.
Gomes bounced back well with her fourth attempt which was just two centimetres short of Maggi. In the same round Russia’s Olympic silver medallist Irina Simagina, the world season leader coming into today’s final (6.96m) put herself into the medal frame, after three fouls, with a 6.84m leap. The Russian improved further with her final efforts too – 6.85m and 6.88m – to take bronze with ease. The next finalist was 28 centimetres behind the bronze! Essentially, this was just a three woman final in terms of quality.
Back at the very top of the fight, Gomes took permanent hold of the title with her fifth leap, soaring to a world season lead of 7.00m, and with Maggi (6.73 and foul) not improving with her last two attempts and the Portuguese also fouling in the sixth round, that was the competition over.
Chris Turner for the IAAF