Brittney Reese (USA) competes in the Women's Long Jump (Getty Images) © Copyright
Reese made her statement in the first round with her 6.70m opener, a leap which would stand as her best, and enough to capture the title. It was notably the shortest winning leap in World Indoor Championships history, and while Reese may not have had that stat nestled somewhere in the back of her mind, she clearly was hoping for more in the Qatari capital.
“I was looking for 6.90, 6.80, but it’ll have to do,” said the 23-year-old, who was clearly the world No. 1 in 2009 and the world leader this season coming into to Doha with a 6.89m best at altitude in Albuquerque. Her’s was the first US gold in the event since Dawn Burrell’s victory in 2001.
“But it’s my second world title, and I’m excited! But I knew through competition that anybody could go 6.70.”
Defending champion Naide Gomes of Portugal came closest. And she was quite close. Opening with a 6.67 leap, she followed up with 6.65 to still trail Reese. Fouling in the third and fourth rounds, she again came close with a 6.67m in the fifth round, before fouling in the sixth.
“It was a bizarre final,” said Gomes, who also took World indoor gold in the Pentathlon in 2004. Kept from starting her training regimen until two months ago by injury, Gomes wasn’t even sure if she’d come to Doha until just a few weeks ago. “’I wanted to regain the title and fought to the end. You will see me again at over seven metres.”
Only one centimetre separated spots 2, 3, and four. Keila Costa of Brazil and Ksenija Balta of Estonia, the European indoor champion, each ended the competition with a 6.63 best, with Costa getting the edge after reaching that same mark twice. Balta’s next best was 6.61m.
Darya Klishina showed Russian selectors that she earned her team spot here. The teenager, who was third at the Russian championships last month, reached a best of 6.62 in the fourth round to finish fifth, just one centimetre better than her compatriot Anna Nazarova.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF