When one completes 3 jumps of six, and any of the 3 can win a competition, that’s the definiition of domination. The elegant German jumper put 3 jumps into the sky, and took gold. The distance between gold and silver was 38 centimeters! Not since Jackie Joyner-Kersee has anyone jumped so far in the women’s LJ, and that was in 1987! Stuart Weir gave the European champion her accolades below, and spoke about an American, who could be a challenger.
Malaika Mihambo, serial seven meter womens
Malaika Mihambo didn’t just win the women’s long jump in Doha, she dominated it. She had the three longest jumps. She was the only person to go over 7 meters and she did it three times. I have previously written that she jumps over seven meters for fun. In fact in 2019, I have seen her jump seven meters in five countries. It has been a long season for both of us; I first saw her jump in Glasgow in March and lastly in October.
In Doha her series was 6.52 Foul 7.30 Pass 7.09 and 7.16. The competition started at such a standard that she was in a little trouble after two rounds, sitting in seventh position with only eight to qualify for the final three jumps. But as the old German proverb says: When the going gets tough, the tough jump 7.30m, a career best by 14cm.
In her honest evaluation of her performance, she said: “There was a really tight moment for me, that third attempt. It had to work. I told myself, ‘You have to make this one valid no matter what’. And it worked. On my first attempt I had too many quick steps and the 6.52m jump was not enough. The second attempt was a foul, I stepped on the board. 7.30m is amazing, I do not know if I will ever jump that far again in my life. In training, I do not remember having managed a jump like that. I knew that whole season through that I was in good shape, I was the world leader. I am really very happy that I was able to get the gold medal and stay the world leader. Today, I showed that I am capable of such a great jump. I am over the moon. Thanks very much to all the people who have supported me. It was a difficult competition but I’m really glad I came through.”
The full result was
1 Malaika Mihambo 7.30
2 Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk 6.92
3 Ese Brume 6.91
4 Tori Bowie 6.81
In Brussels she had won the Diamond League final with 7.03, from defending world champion, Brittney Reese, who failed to make the final in Doha and Katerina Johnson-Thompson, who concentrated on winning gold in the heptathlon in Doha. Earlier in the year I had seen her jump 7.07 at the Golden Gala in Rome, 7.02 in the MÃ¼ller Anniversary Games in London and a windy 7.11 in Bydgozsz, Poland at the European Athletics Team Championships Super League.
2019 has been a magnificent athlete and such a nice person, always ready to chat – in German or English.
There were four Americans in the competition and ironically the one who did best was 2017 world champion at 100m and part-time long-jumper, Tori Bowie. I interviewed her last year and asked her about her past jumping feats in college: “No, long jump is not in the past. Earlier this year my [former]coach let me take a jump – and when I say a jump, I mean only one. I felt like a big kid after it because I forgot how much I enjoy doing it. So I’m so looking forward to doing more. Triple jump – that’s gone for sure. I haven’t put any limits on my career. Before I retire I want to run 400 and see what my best time is for 400. And I want to put my best long jump out there, my best 100m, my best 200m so I’m not limiting myself to anything”. So now we know.