US javelin thrower Maggie Malone (© Getty Images)
Nigeria’s Ese Brume and USA’s Maggie Malone made history at the Chula Vista Field Festival, setting area and national records respectively at the World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meeting on Saturday (29).
Brume produced the leap of her life in the final round of the long jump, going from third to first with a world-leading 7.17m. The world bronze medallist added five centimetres to the Nigerian record set by Chioma Ajunwa when winning gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
The long jump competition had already been a high-quality affair leading into the final round with six women having leaped 6.80m or farther. But it came alive in round six with Brume’s leap prompting two more women to jump beyond seven metres.
Multiple world and Olympic champion Brittney Reese sailed out to 7.10m with her final effort with the wind reading just above the allowable limit (2.3m/s). She had jumped a wind-legal 6.83m earlier in the competition.
Chantel Malone of the British Virgin Islands ended her series with 7.07m (2.0m/s) to finish third. USA’s Sha’Keela Saunders (6.90m, wind assisted) and Malaina Payton (6.89m) were fourth and fifth, while 2014 world U20 champion Akela Jones of Barbados set a national record of 6.80m in sixth.
Maggie Malone continued her strong run of form in the javelin, recording not just her sixth win of the year and fourth PB, but also breaking the US record in the process.
She took the lead in round two with 63.42m, then sent her spear out to 66.82m in round three, adding 15 centimetres to the previous mark set by Kara Winger in 2010.
Canada’s Liz Gleadle was second with a season’s best of 63.33m.
Vashti Cunningham moved up to fourth on the US all-time list when winning the high jump with 2.02m.
The 2016 world indoor champion, still aged just 23, had first-time clearances up to and including 1.90m, then needed two attempts to get over 1.93m. Jelena Rowe also got over that height on her second try, but bowed out of the competition with three misses at 1.99m.
Cunningham, meanwhile, passed straight to 2.02m and had immediate success, going clear on her first jump. Happy with her result, Cunningham opted not to continue jumping.
Olympic champion Jeff Henderson sailed out to a season’s best of 8.39m (1.5m/s) in the first round of the long jump to secure victory. The world silver medallist followed it with 8.24m in round two and then passed his remaining attempts.
Marquis Dendy and Corey Crawford both jumped 8.29m, but Dendy placed second on countback, thanks to having another 8.29m leap within his series.
Elsewhere, world leader Rudy Winkler maintained his winning streak in the hammer – but only just. He threw 78.78m in the first round, which remained the best mark of the day, but Alex Young came within half a metre of that throw with his 78.30m for second place.
Donald Scott won the men's triple jump with a marginally wind-assisted 17.22m, while Jamaica's Sabina Allen won the women's event with 14.20m. Michael Shuey took the men's javelin with 80.32m.
Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics