USA’s Brittney Reese saved her best for last to become the first woman to win three world indoor long jump titles.
Trailing in second with one jump remaining, Reese flew to 7.22m, just one centimetre shy of her own North American indoor record, to regain a title she won in 2010 and 2012.
In her quest to become Serbia’s first world champion, Ivana Spanovic took an early lead with a national indoor record of 7.00m in her opening effort. Reese responded with 6.97m.
Runner-up in 2012, Janay DeLoach put herself into contention for the medals with a 6.80m effort in the second round, closely followed by Australia’s Brooke Stratton (6.75m), who had already surpassed the seven-metre barrier outdoors this year with 7.05m.
After three rounds, the field was reduced from 16 to eight women and the top placings remained unchanged as Reese fouled in her next two attempts and backed up her opening effort with 6.88m.
Sixth after four rounds, Great Britain’s IAAF World Indoor Tour winner Lorraine Ugen moved to the bronze medal position with an equal national indoor record of 6.93m on her fifth attempt.
Reese took the lead on count-back in the fifth round with a 7.00m leap, but it was short-lived as Spanovic regained the pole position with an outright national record of 7.07m.
The stage was set for the final found, where only the top four were granted a sixth attempt in a new format for field events at these championships.
Olympic bronze medallist DeLoach came four centimetres short of overtaking Ugen for the bronze medal.
Getting the claps from the packed stadium, Reese sprinted to the board and flew to 7.22m to confirm her gold medal ambitions. Spanovic could only manage 6.76m.
With seven global titles under her belt, Reese will now focus on defending her Olympic crown later this summer.
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF