Klishina defends her title with a world leading jump of 7.01m | 02.03.2013
|Daria Klishina of Russia won the women's long jump
gold with a world season-leading jump of 7.01m
on Saturday. (Getty Images)
As a measure of the quality of the 22-year-olds performance, it was the first time in a women's long jump final at a European Athletics Indoor Championships that the seven-metre barrier was breached since German great Heike Drechsler leapt out to 7.06m 19 years ago.
There was no shame in winning 'only' silver for European outdoor champion Eloyse Lesueur who posted a best of 6.90m with the competition of her life. The French athlete set no less than three national records in the course of the competition of which she can be rightly proud.
Meanwhile, there was also a huge bonus for the home crowd not to mention the previously unheralded Swede Erica Jarder who snatched an unexpected bronze medal with her sixth round jump. The crowd roared their approval as she soared out to a new personal best of 6.71m to secure the hosts first medal of the championships.
The first round started with a bang, as Lesueur posted her first national record of the day with 6.85m. However, with the very next jump, Darya Kilishina produced the perfect counter-punch, producing her world leading 7.01m to take a first lead she was never to relinquish. The best of the rest in a thrilling first round was Great Britain's Shara Proctor, who broke the sand with a solid 6.68m to hold third spot.
The second round witnessed no change to the overall medal picture. Lesueur responded to the gauntlet thrown down by Klishina be producing a narrow foul - which looked to be in the 7.00m range. Meanwhile, Klishina followed up her monster first round effort with a more than respectable 6.83m. Previous European leader Olga Kucharenko of Russia nudged a little closer to the podium positions with a 6.59m effort elevating her to fourth.
Only three legitimate jumps were registered in an error-strewn round three. The three podium occupiers were all red-flagged, although Ivana Spanovic of Serbia with 6.62m briefly moved into fourth until she was relegated a spot after Kucharenko achieved precisely that same distance.
Round four saw further improvements from the women in provisional silver and bronze as Lesueur added 0.02 to her French record and Proctor, the World indoor bronze medallist added 0.01 to her best of the day.
In round five, Leseuer added her third national record of the afternoon – this time going out to 6.90m But the drama in the final round was reserved for Jarder who catapulted herself from sixth to bronze with a new lifetime best of 6.71m.
Remarkably, the 26-year-old Swede came into the competition with an indoor personal best of 6.38m, but after soaring out to 6.61m in qualification she again made a huge advance when it counted in the final.