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She came to London with just one mission in mind – reclaiming the GOLD medal she lost to teammate Tianna Bartoletta two years ago in Beijing, and this she achieved in grand style, becoming the first woman in World Championships history to win four Long Jump titles.

Despite having only two valid jumps out of six, Reese demonstrated how much of a championship material she is after making a jump of 6.75m on her first attempt, before making her GOLD-winning leap of 7.02m in her fifth attempt to position herself as the woman to beat.

Darya Klishina, who competed as an Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA), was also very impressive and consistent, opening her campaign with 6.78m, improving by 10cm on her second attempt, before being fouled on the third. Her fourth attempt landed at 6.91m, and then she soared to a Season’s Best (SB) of 7.00m to push Ivana Spanovic to 3rd place.

Desperate to make an impact after opening with 6.56m, then 6.60m on the second, reigning Olympic Champion Bartoletta left it late, waiting until her final jump to unleash her Bronze-winning jump of 6.97m, thus depriving her Serbian counterpart a place on the podium by just 1cm, with Spanovic finishing 4th with 6.96m.

Home girl Lorraine Ugen was 5th with 6.72m, while Moscow 2013 Silver medallist Blessing Okagbare finished in 8th position with a best jump of 6.55m.

Winning the fourth World Championships GOLD medal was an emotional moment for Reese who said:

“I just showed how mentally strong I am. Most definitely, I did what I had to do. I have learnt my lessons before and today I had to take the cake. If you have the crowd behind you, you can jump great. When I came out here, I knew I had to put up a show. All competitors are able to jump more or less seven metres.

“This fourth GOLD medal is the main medal. What a fight, I am really excited. My grandfather King David passed away some weeks ago in Mississippi. He is the reason why I started track and field. He was my biggest fan. To have him in my heart, I am glad I came through with a GOLD medal.”

Reese wasn’t the only athlete who made history on Day 8 of the championships. Poland’s Pawel Fajdek became the first man to win three GOLD medals in the men’s Hammer throw at the World Championships.

The Polish thrower claimed his third consecutive title after throwing a distance of 79.81m to finish ahead of Valeriy Pronkin (78.16m), while his compatriot Wojciech Nowicki scooped the Bronze medal with a mark of 78.03m.

Fajdek who had a disappointing outing at the London Olympic Stadium five years ago, revealed that he had old scores to settle.

He said: “I waited for this competition at this stadium for five years so it was very important for me to get this revenge for the Olympics in here. Three times world champion – I made history, what more could I expect.

“The competition started for me after the second round. I started slowly but despite the first fault I saw it was flying far so I stayed calm. When I managed 79 metres in the third round, I knew I was in the top eight and will fight for medals.”

Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


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