Brittney Reese has won five successive global Long Jump titles, but for a moment here in Moscow it looked as though the defending champion wouldn’t make it out of qualifying.
As it happened, she scraped through in 12th place – and even then, only just doing so on count-back.
The Olympic champion from the USA opened with 6.57m, then replicated it in the second round, both marks having the same wind reading of -0.2m/s. She didn’t improve in the final round, leaving Funmi Jimoh as the final athlete in the round with the chance to displace her.
Jimoh, who also had a best mark of 6.57m, fouled her final effort, leaving her one place adrift of Reese in 13th place overall.
With the qualifying mark set at 6.75m, just three women advanced automatically. British record-holder Shara Proctor led the qualifiers with 6.85m, taking off some 26 centimetres behind the plasticine to show she will be a serious contender in the final.
Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare was close behind with 6.83m, also needing just one jump to qualify. The third-best athlete overall was USA’s Tori Polk, who achieved the exact mark required with a 6.75m personal best.
Olympic bronze medallist Janay DeLoach Soukup was the third US athlete to make it into the final, just squeezing through with 6.58m.
Similarly, host nation Russia will also have three athletes in tomorrow’s final. Top of those was two-time European indoor champion Darya Klishina, who jumped 6.70m, the same mark as team-mate Elena Sokolova, the Olympic silver medallist.
Olga Kucherenko was the third Russian to qualify, jumping 6.59m. 2007 World silver medallist Lyudmila Kolchanova was the only athlete from the host nation not to advance, jumping just 6.53m.
Germany’s Sosthene Moguenara, who jumped 7.04m just days before leaving for Moscow, also qualified with 6.63m. The other athletes to progress were Bulgaria’s Volha Sudareva (6.71m), Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic (6.63m) and Sweden’s Erica Jarder (6.59m).
The only notable casualty was France’s European champion Eloyse Lesueur, who managed just 6.39m to finish 22nd overall.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF