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Previews28 Feb 2024

WIC Glasgow 24 preview: long jump


Tara Davis-Woodhall and Miltiadis Tentoglou (© Getty Images)

Women’s long jump

Timetable | 2024 world list | world all-time listworld rankings

It is approaching nine years now since Tara Davis, as she was at the time, stood proudly on top of the global pile as winner of the women’s long jump title at the World U18 Championships in Cali.

At the outdoor World Championships in Budapest last August, the married Tara Davis-Woodhall fleetingly had the glint of a senior global gold in her eye as she led the final with a leap of 6.91m at the end of round one.

With the very next jump, she was shunted into second by Ivana Vuleta and ultimately had to settle for the silver medal.

Seven months on, the 24-year-old US jumper heads to the UK as the woman to beat at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24.

Davis-Woodhall tops the 2024 world list with the 7.18m that won her the US indoor title in Albuquerque on 16 February – an improvement of 4cm on the lifetime best she set outdoors at her home track, the Mike Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas, in March 2021.

No other woman has ventured beyond seven metres this year. With Vuleta choosing not to defend the title she won on home ground in Belgrade two years ago, and Jasmine Moore, runner up to Davis with 6.93m in Albuquerque, concentrating on the triple jump, number two on the entry list on season’s best is young German Mikaelle Assani.

Bronze medallist at the European U20 Championships in Tallinn in 2021, the 21-year-old finished just 2cm down on Malaika Mihambo at the German Indoor Championships in Leipzig on 18 February, equalling her lifetime best with 6.91m. Having failed to make it beyond the qualifying rounds at the 2022 European and 2023 World Championships, she will be keen to make a mark in her first international indoor championship.

It was in Glasgow where Ese Brume won her first senior medal: long jump gold as an 18-year-old at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Ten years on, the Nigerian has Olympic bronze, world outdoor and indoor silver, and world outdoor bronze to her name. She would have had a second world outdoor bronze in Budapest last year had Romania’s Alina Rotaru-Kottmann not bumped her down to fourth in the final round.

Brume has a season’s best of 6.84m but a lifetime best of 7.17m – the only entrant other than Davis-Woodhall with a PB beyond seven metres.

Her Nigerian team-mate Ruth Usoro, eighth in the final in Belgrade in 2022, boasts a marginally superior season’s best of 6.87m.

The field also includes Rotaru-Kottmann, who has a lifetime best of 6.96m, and Monae’ Nichols, third behind Davis-Woodhall and Moore at the US Championships, who jumped 6.97m outdoors in 2022.

Larissa Iapichino, who jumped a PB 6.97m to take European indoor silver in Istanbul last year, heads to Glasgow with a season’s best of 6.80m. The 21-year-old Italian is, of course, the daughter of Fiona May, the two-time world outdoor long jump champion who landed world indoor gold in Paris in 1997.

The European challenge will be bolstered by Switzerland’s European heptathlon bronze medallist Annik Kalin, who has a best this year of 6.76m.


Men’s long jump

Timetable | 2024 world list | world all-time listworld rankings

Unlike the mythical King Midas, Miltiadis Tentoglou is a real-life Greek blessed with a tangible golden touch.

The Olympic champion in 2021, the world indoor and European outdoor champion in 2022, the world outdoor and European indoor champion in 2023, he has taken ownership of every major long jump prize.

At the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24, in the arena where he won the first of his three European indoor crowns five years ago, King Miltiadis will be defending the global indoor title he claimed in Belgrade on his 24th birthday two weeks shy of two years ago.

Tentoglou, who turns 26 on 18 March, has won three out of three indoor competitions in 2024, jumping 8.09m in Ostrava, 8.06m in Paris and then 8.26m to claim his sixth successive Greek indoor title in Piraeus on 18 February.

The consummate competitive performer, he will doubtless be enthused by the challenge laid down by Mattia Furlani, the 19-year-old Italian sensation known to his friends as Spiderman, given his likeness to Miles Morales, the fictional character in the Marvel franchise.

As an 18-year-old, Furlani jumped a mildly (2.2m/s) wind-assisted 8.44m in Savona in May last year. At the Italian Indoor Championships in Ancona on 17 February, he leapt 8.34m – the best ever mark indoors by an U20 and joint second on the absolute all-time age group list, matching Randy Williams’ performance from the qualifying round of the 1972 Olympics in Munich, where the US teenager proceeded to win the gold medal.

Russia’s Sergei Morgunov holds the record at 8.35m and Furlani, the European U18 champion at long jump and high jump in 2022, is clearly capable of eclipsing it, having also jumped 8.31m and 8.24m in Ancona.

Furlani stands joint top of the 2024 world list with Wayne Pinnock and, though the Jamaican who was pipped to world outdoor gold by Tentoglou in Budapest last August will not be in Glasgow, there will be two potential medal contenders from his homeland.

Tajay Gayle, the 2019 world outdoor champion, and Carey McLeod fought a dramatic battle for bronze behind Tentoglou and Pinnock in Budapest. McLeod was in third until Gayle matched his 8.27m with his final jump, taking the medal on countback.

McLeod is third on the entry list on season’s bests, with 8.20m. Gayle stands fifth with 8.15m, 1cm behind Colombian Arnovis Dalmero, the Pan American outdoor and South American indoor champion.

The field also features Sweden’s Thobias Montler, the silver medallist in Belgrade two years ago, and Jarrion Lawson, the US jumper who finished fourth in the Serbian capital and in Birmingham in 2018.

Simon Turnbull for World Athletics