London 2017 Diary: Hey, watch the Women's Long Jump! (originally from 2017 Athletissima)! It's an amazing event!

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Updated July 30, 2017!

Originally posted on July 4, 2017!

The women's long jump is one of the most competitive events on the athletics schedule. Tianna Bartoletta, Brittney Reese and Ivana Spanovic, the medalists from Rio and Beijing, are some of the finest athletes in the world. Add Shara Proctor, Dariya Klishina, Lorraine Ugen, and you have an amazing field! I wrote this around Lausanne, but felt that it gives the reader a fine appreciation for the women's long jump, one of the finest events on the London 2017 schedule. The qualifying for Women's Long Jump is August 9, Day 6, in the morning session. The final is August 11, Day 8, in the evening session. Do not miss it! For updates on the IAAF London schedule, please go to : https://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-championships/iaaf-world-championships-london-2017-5151/timetable/byday.

Look, I have to be honest. There are many athletics meets where I get so engrossed in the field events, that I, well forget about some of the running events.

And vice versa.

Bartoletta_Tianna1-PreC17.jpgTianna Bartoletta, photo by PhotoRun.net

I will be honest, on the 6 of July, I will be watching the women's long jump real close, and here's why: there are four women over 7 meters from Tianna Bartoletta, PB of 7.17m and Olympic champion, (World Champion too), Darya Klishina, 7.05 meters (and her coach, Loren Seagrave says she is in control of her speed now), Shara Proctor, 7.07 meters, Ivana Spanovic, 7.10 meters outdoors, 7.24 meters indoors, and count Lorraine Ugen, 6.92 meters, who should be over 7 meters any day now. Only big one not here? Brittney Reese, who is jump domestically this summer.

The long jump requires speed, strength, technical comprehension, and focus. This is not the thing you did in PE as a kid.

Long jumpers are either sprinters who jump or jumpers who sprint, or, perhaps jumpers who wish that they were sprinters.

Remember Carl Lewis? Remember Jackie Joyner-Kersee? Remember Heike Dreschler? All three had speed and technical prowess. But, for the long jump, one must control that speed and that motion.

It takes years to get it right, and some never do.

Spanovic_Ivana1-Lausanne16.jpg

Ivana Spanovic, photo by PhotoRun.net

In March 2017, I witnessed Ivana Spanovic jump 7.03 meters, then, 7.16 meters, then, 7.17 meters, and finally, 7.24 meters, in front of her home crowd in Belgrade, Serbia. The Kombank Arena was rocking as Serbian sports fans, as crazy as they come, were making righteous noise for their long jump goddess. Ivana responded, and she blew the Arena away!

Ivana Spanovic is a true long jumper. Good speed, but just amazing core strength and ability to bust the moves over a long competition. Fear her, as she will rise to the challenge, as the Rio Olympics showed, and her zen moment, the European Indoor Championships, the best long jump series indoors in three decades.

Only my indoor long jump goddess, Heike Dreschler, and my global long jump goddess, Jackie Joyner Kersee have done it better. Remember that.

Bartoletta_Tianna1-Lausanne16.jpgTianna Bartoletta, photo by PhotoRun.net

Tianna Bartoletta jumped 7.17 meters last summer in Rio. After the dust settled, Bartoletta had put Ivana Spanovic in bronze and Brittney Reese in silver position. It was a glorious long jump competition, one of the best LJ's on record.

Tianna is now coached by Rana Reider, as she has for two years. Before that, it was Loren Seagrave for two years. Rana and Loren are two wonderful technicians. They know how to break up the activity, and help you be better by taking out excess motion. I swear, Rana Reider and Loren Seagrave could watch you pour sugar into your coffee and figure out the wasted motion. It is fascinating to watch guys like that. It is a gift, both art and science, to be a fine coach. Okay, I have digressed, sorry.

What do I like about Tianna? Everything. She can jump a good fifth jump, she can take the pressure and jump a good sixth jump. She and Brittney Reese have this karma on the darma thing going. Get those two in a competition, add in Ivana Spanovic, oh, dear god, it will be a good LJ.

The women (Ms. Bartoletta) knows how to compete, and she gets that face, that combination of do not mess with me, this is my life and no one screws with my long jump. Watch her, it is amazing. Is Tianna a sprinter who jumps or a jumper who sprints? She won her first World Champs in 2005, next in 2015, both in LJ. She has been on WR 4x100m relay team, and she can run under 11 seconds. You figure it out.

Proctor_SharaH-BosOut17.jpgShara Proctor getting some air, 2017 adidas Boost Boston, photo by PhotoRun.net

Shara Proctor has jumped 7.07 meters. She won the silver in Beijing in 2015. She won the bronze in the World Indoor in Istanbul in 2012. At Beijing, on August 28, she became the first British women over 7 meters with her 7.07 meters. Proctor is one of those athletes who can put it together at the right time. She likes competition and thrives on adversity. I watched Shara at the adidas Boost Boston meeting a few weeks ago. She took her aim and, after being behind, took over the event and owned it.

Shara Proctor is coached by Rana Reider. As Rana is now the national coach in the Netherlands, he is looking over Dafne Schippers, and others, he also has the supergroup with Shara, Christian Taylor, Tianna Bartoletta and some I apologize for leaving off my list.

Klishina_Darya-PreC17.jpgDarya Klishina, Pre Classic 2017, photo by PhotoRun.net

Darya Klishina has jumped 7.05 meters. Klishina is the European indoor champion from 2011 Paris, and 2013 Gothenburg, as well as bronze medalist in European outdoor in 2014. Coached by Loren Seagrave, Klishina is understanding the gift of speed. She is begining to manage it and she will be even more impressive later this season. Darya Klishina is competing without a country, after having been cleared by IAAF, due to the current Russia-IAAF crisis.

Ugen_Lorraine-Pre16.jpgLorraine Ugen, photo by PhotoRun.net

Lorraine Ugen has the bronze medal from 2016 Portland World Indoor and the silver medal from the European Indoor in Belgrade where Ms. Spanovic did her thing. Lorraine Ugen continues to improve and has the speed and technique to put her PB past seven meters. I count her in the dangerous category. Once she gets over seven meters, she will understand the beauty of such long jumps. Lorriane Ugen set a new British record and an PB of 6.97m in Belgrade.

So, how do I play this one out? Not sure, all are getting into jumping fitness, and this is a big meet for most of them. With the World Championships less than thirty-one days away, the long jump, with these fine women, should be very exciting.

The jumps were not big in Lausanne, as Tianna Bartoletta won, with Ivana Spanovic was second. The next meet saw a win for Ivana Spanovic, and the long jump wars continue. Brittney Reese was not jumping in Europe.

Reese_Brittney-OlyGame16.jpgBrittney Reese, photo by PhotoRun.net

Not appearing in Lausanne was the one and only Brittney Reese. Brittney has won World Champs, Indoors and Out, from 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, and then, in 2016, won the World Indoors in 7.22m, jumped 7.31m in the Olympic Trials, and in an epic battle in Rio de Janeiro, lost to Tianna Bartoletta in final two rounds of jumping. Reese wants to be in the winners circle once again. Brittney is a tremendous athlete, as are Tianna Bartoletta and Ivana Spanovic. All three have different approaches to the event, with Bartoletta a sprinter who jumps, Spanovic a long jumper who sprints and Brittney Reese comes from a basketball and sprinting backgound, with huge strength and competitive talents.

Watch the Women's Long Jump in London 2017 over August 4-13, but, remember to watch the event at your next track meet. It is a tremendously gripping event and the athletes are deserving of your focus and support!

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