It has now become customary for World and Olympic champion Dwight Phillips to secure his numerous victories with his opening round effort.
Today’s World Athletics Final was no exception as the US champion leapt to a new Competition record of 8.46m with his first attempt, a mark which was not to be bettered today.
Phillips came into this third edition of the World Athletics Final with something to prove as the 27-year-old suffered a surprise defeat on this same track at last year’s edition of the competition. Indeed Phillips was defeated by Ghana’s Ignisious Gaisah who jumped a stunning 8.32m with his fourth and last attempt.
But the American wasn’t going to let this happen again and easily secured the 30,000$ prize money. Phillips led a US double as compatriot Miguel Pate managed to grab second spot with an opening-round performance of 8.30m.
Fortunes were reversed this year as Gaisah who was standing in third with a best jump of 8.23m (also in the first round) couldn’t respond to James Beckford’s last effort of 8.28m.
The Jamaican’s season’s best was eventually good enough for third as Gaisah who aborted his last jump was relegated into fourth.
World championships bronze medallist and national hero Tommi Evila concluded in sixth position, the Finnish champion managing a below-par 8.00m best jump today.
“It was very important to regain my World Athletics Final title as I lost here in 2004,” said Phillips. “This year my body has been fit to compete consistently at a such a high level.”