Brittney Reese did something her idol, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, never accomplished, becoming the first woman to win three straight World Championships in the long jump Sunday.
Reese earned the first U.S. gold medal at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, recording a 7.01-meter jump in the second of six rounds that held up. The former Ole Miss standout almost didn’t make it out of qualification, sneaking in 12th out of 12 women into the final.
Nigerian Blessing Okagbare, who earlier qualified into the 100-meter semifinals, took silver at 6.99 meters. Serbian Ivana Spanovic grabbed bronze with a 6.82-meter jump.
The other Americans finished out of the medals — Tori Polk (eighth), 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Janay DeLoach (11th) and Funmi Jimoh, who failed to make the final.
Reese, 26, has won the last six major indoor and outdoor championships in the long jump: the 2009, 2011 and 2013 World Outdoor Championships, the 2010 and 2012 World Indoor Championships and the 2012 Olympic Games.
She qualified first into the final at the 2008 Olympics and finished fifth, drawing tears on a memorable bus ride back to the athletes’ village in Beijing.
Her next goal is the American record, held by Joyner-Kersee at 7.49 meters. Reese set a personal best earlier this year of 7.25, so there’s plenty of work left.