Brittney Reese at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Doha, Qatar

Preview: women's long jump - IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019

Malaika Mihambo is on a roll.

Unbeaten in nine competitions, the 25-year-old German champion has leaped beyond seven metres in five of those – six if you include her wind-aided 7.11m (2.2m/s) victory at the European Team Championships. The last time someone did that during an outdoor season was in 2002. Mihambo leads the world with 7.16m, owns the three best jumps in the world this season, five of the best six, and six of the best eight. It's difficult to imagine that she wasn't even a member of the seven-metre club until early June. In any case, she'll prove extremely difficult to beat in Doha.

If anyone has the ability, it's Brittney Reese, who was won four world titles in her six appearances at the global outdoor championships. Indeed, the only medal colour she has from the World Championships is gold, more of them than anyone else. 

The 33-year-old reached 7.00m to take the US title in Des Moines in late July, so is clearly in form to challenge Mihambo, even though her competitive record this year is bereft of any international victories. But she has been competitive on the IAAF Diamond League circuit, finishing third in Rome and second in London and at the series final in Brussels, where she reached 6.85m.

Ese Brume is the third jumper this season to soar beyond seven metres, her first beyond the still-formidable barrier. The 23-year-old Nigerian, who was fifth at the 2016 Olympic Games, reached 7.05m in Bursa, Turkey, in late July in a competition that included wind-assisted marks of 7.03m (3.6m/s) and 6.91m (2.7m/s). Brume followed up with a victory at the African Games in Rabat with a 6.69m leap, her last appearance before Doha.

Romania arrives well-armed with a 1-2 punch consisting of Florentina Costina Iusco and Alina Rotaru, who have reached 6.92m and 6.91m lifetimes bests, respectively, this season.

Rotaru, 26, has been in the limelight since winning the 2009 world U18 title a decade ago, but it wasn't until this season that she's come close to threatening the seven-metre barrier. She was 12th at the World Championships in 2017, but is clearly looking for a better finish than that this time around.

Meanwhile Iusco, 23, took the European Games title three weeks before her big leap at the national championships.

Chantel Malone of British Virgin Islands, seventh in London two years ago, has competed well this season, taking the Pan-American Games title in Lima after improving her national record to 6.90m in late April. She'll need to approach that form though to figure in the medal chase.

Others to watch include authorised neutral athlete Darya Klishina, who jumped 7.00m to take silver in London two years ago. She's competed sparingly this season, jumping 6.84m in her season's debut in late June but hasn't jumped in competition since 25 July when she reached 6.82m in Cheboksary.

Abigail Irozuru improved her lifetime best to 6.86m to take the British title to lead a UK trio that includes Shara Proctor, the 2015 world silver medallist. The 31-year-old's season's best is 6.84m, also from the British Championships.

Then, there is a pair of notable contenders who bring double ambitions to the sand pit.

Colombia's Caterine Ibarguen, the 2018 World Athlete of the Year, has competed sparingly, splitting her attention equally with the triple jump, contesting each discipline four times. In the long jump, her best showing came in Rome, where she leaped 6.87m to finish second. Her schedule is challenging, but not impossible. The long jump qualification round is on Saturday 5 October, about two-and-a-half hours before the start of the triple jump final which gets underway at 20:35. 

The schedule is more friendly towards Tori Bowie, the defending 100m champion, who'll contest the long jump at an outdoor World Championships for the first time. The 29-year-old, who has a 6.91m PB outdoors from 2013 (6.95m indoors, 2014), finished fourth at the US Championships, jumping 6.78m, to earn her ticket in the event. Her finals, should she reach both, are a week apart.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF