BEIJING — Tianna Bartoletta won a historic long jump gold and Aries Merritt returned to medal form in the hurdles, while Ashton Eaton’s 45-second 400m in the decathlon thrilled fans Friday at the IAAF World Championships.
Bartoletta wins LJ gold with sixth-round leap
In 2005, Tianna Bartoletta (Elyria, Ohio) was a surprise world champion in Helsinki, topping the world before her 20th birthday. Ten years and one 4x100m world record later, she entered Beijing as the world leader. She lived up to her ranking, prevailing over two national records to earn her second World Outdoor gold medal in the long jump.
Bartoletta, who will turn 30 on Sunday, returned to the winner’s podium in a dramatic way. After fouling on her first attempt, Bartoletta safely put in a mark of 6.95m/22-9.75 on her second jump to sit in second place behind Ivana Spanovic’s 7.01/23-0 national record for Serbia. She fell to third when Shara Proctor catapulted herself from fourth to first with her third-round 7.07m/23-2.5, which set a British national record.
Facing bronze in the sixth round, Bartoletta unleashed a world-leading and personal best 7.14m/23-5.25 in the final round to win.
Janay DeLoach (Ft. Collins, Colorado) posted 6.67m/21-10.75 on her first try, which stood as her best mark of the night, giving her eighth place.