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World Championships Preview: Women's Jumps

World Championships Preview: Women’s Jumps

| On 03, Aug 2013

Brigetta Barrett won a surprise silver at the Olympics, but Worlds gold would surprise no one. (Photo courtesy Creative Commons.)

Over the last few days we’ve started to preview the upcoming World Championships in Moscow, breaking things down by event area. Now it’s time to take a look at the women’s jumping events.

High Jump

Qualifying: August 15 (Thursday), 1:40am ET
Final: August 17 (Saturday), 10:00am ET
2011 World champion: Anna Chicherova (Russia)
2012 Olympic champion: Chicherova
2013 World leader: Brigetta Barrett (USA)
2013 Diamond Race leader: Chicherova

The Favorites: Since Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic is not competing, it’s pretty much a two-woman fight for gold between Anna Chicherova and Brigetta Barrett. The Russian won the World and Olympic titles over the last two years while the American won a surprise silver last year. Barrett has improved since then and is sneaking up on no one this year, and looks every bit the equal of Chicherova.

The (other) Americans: Chaunté Lowe earned a “wild card” entry by winning last year’s high jump Diamond Race but this will be her first competition since giving birth and little is expected. Inika McPherson might need to get close to her 1.95 meter (6′ 4¾”) PR in order to get into the final.
US medal chances: Very good

The others: Italian 20-year-old Alessia Trost had a fantastic indoor season but has struggled since then. Bronze will probably come down to Russian champion Svetlana Shkolina, Spain’s Ruth Beitia, Poland’s Kamila Stepaniuk, and Sweden’s Emma Green Tregaro.

Bottom line: USA versus Russia for gold.

Pole Vault

Qualifying: August 11 (Sunday), 11:10am ET
Final: August 13 (Tuesday), 11:35am ET
2011 World champion: Fabiana Murer (Brazil)
2012 Olympic champion: Jenn Suhr (USA)
2013 World leader: Suhr
2013 Diamond Race leader: Yarisley Silva (Cuba)

The Favorites: Jenn Suhr broke the world indoor record back in March but Cuba’s Yarisley Silva has dominated the outdoor season and beaten Suhr in three of their four meetings. If Suhr puts it all together she could break the world record–but she might have to in order to beat Silva.

The (other) Americans: Mary Saxer could challenge for a medal if she’s able to reach or exceed her PR of 4.70 meters (15′ 5″). Becky Holliday can make the final but will need a quality result to do it.
US medal chances: Very good

The others: It appears that World record holder Yelena Isinbayeva’s best years are behind her and she’s unlikely to contend for gold, but you never know. Defending champion Fabiana Murer and Germany’s Silke Spiegelburg are the other top medal contenders.

Bottom line: A world record is possible and more than one athlete might be going after it. This could be the event of the meet.

Long Jump

Qualifying: August 10 (Saturday), 11:20am ET
Final: August 11 (Sunday), 11:00am ET
2011 World champion: Brittney Reese (USA)
2012 Olympic champion: Reese
2013 World leader: Reese
2013 Diamond Race leader: Reese & Blessing Okagbare (Nigeria)

The Favorite: If Brittney Reese hits a good one then no one can beat her, but sometimes she has trouble finding the board. If she has foul trouble then it could open up.

The (other) Americans: Reese’s “wild card” status as defending champion means the USA gets four entries. One of them, Janay DeLoach Soukup, won Olympic bronze last year and is possibly the world’s most consistent jumper. If Reese leaves the door open, DeLoach Soukup could get through for gold. The others, Funmi Jimoh and Tori Polk, will do well to make the final.
US medal chances: Virtually certain

The Canadian: Christabel Nettey just finished up her senior year at Arizona State, where she was a jackie-of-all-trades hurdler/long jumper/triple jumper. She bombed at the NCAAs but has a shot at getting to the Worlds final.
Canadian medal chances: Virtually zero

The others: Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare has developed into the second-best long jumper in the world after Reese. Russia brings two medal contenders in Darya Klishina and Elena Sokolova, and Britain’s Shara Proctor has a chance as well.

Bottom line: Gold is Reese’s to lose.

Triple Jump

Qualifying: August 13 (Tuesday), 3:25am ET
Final: August 15 (Thursday), 11:40am ET
2011 World champion: Olha Saladukha (Ukraine)
2012 Olympic champion: Olga Rypakova (Kazakhstan)
2013 World leader: Saladukha
2013 Diamond Race leader: Caterine Ibarguen (Colombia)

The Favorites: Three jumpers stand out above the rest: Ukraine’s Olha Saladukha, Kazakhstan’s Olga Rypakova, and Colombia’s Caterine Ibarguen. Ibarguen won bronze in ’11 and silver in ’12 and looks very ready to move to the top step this year, as she’s undefeated in her six competitions.

No Americans met the qualifying standard of 14.20 meters (46′ 7¼”) this year (or any year since 2010).

The others: Israel has won a grand total of two medals in Worlds history but Hanna Knyazheva is quite capable of making it three. The other medal contenders include two Russians, Irina Gumenyuk and Yekaterina Koneva, and Jamaican and former Florida State Seminole Kimberly Williams.

Bottom line: Ibarguen looks good to win Colombia’s first-ever gold medal at the Worlds or Olympics.

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