News04 Feb 2016

Global long jump medallists take on home stars in Stockholm


Shara Proctor in action in the long jump (© Getty Images)

Four medallists from last year’s IAAF World Championships will compete in the long jump at the Globen Galan, part of the IAAF World Indoor Tour, in Stockholm on 17 February.

Fabrice Lapierre and Wang Jianan will be competing in Sweden for the first time. Lapierre won the world indoor title in 2010 and then went on to take the Commonwealth title later that year. After a few difficult seasons, the Australian returned to form last year to take the silver medal in Beijing.

Despite being the world junior champion, Wang was also something of a surprise medallist in Beijing. Two days before turning 19, he took the bronze medal with a leap of 8.18m, just seven centimetres shy of the Asian junior record he set earlier in the year.

Wang’s Chinese compatriot Gao Xinglong will also be competing in Stockholm, meaning that three of the top four finishers from last year’s World Championships will be in action in the men’s long jump at the Globen Galan.

They will be up against Sweden’s top two long jumpers in the form of European indoor champion Michel Torneus and European indoor bronze medallist Andreas Otterling. Torneus has won at four of the past five editions of this meeting.

With European indoor silver medallist Radek Juska of the Czech Republic also in the field, it means all three medallists from last year’s European Indoor Championships will be in Stockholm.

The women’s long jump field is of a similar high quality and contains two more medallists from the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015.

Britain’s Shara Proctor took the silver medal in Beijing with a national record of 7.07m. It was her second global medal, following her world indoor bronze in 2012. Proctor’s teammates Lorraine Ugen, who finished fifth at the World Championships, and national indoor champion Abigail Irozuru are also in the field.

For the third successive global championships, Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic took bronze in Beijing, replicating her position from the 2013 World Championships and 2014 World Indoor Championships. The 25-year-old broke her own national records last year, jumping 7.02m outdoors and 6.98m indoors to win the European indoor title.

Another European indoor champion, 2009 winner Ksenija Balta, will also be in Stockholm. The 30-year-old holds the Estonian record of 6.87m.

But, as with the men’s contest, there are some strong Swedes entered too. Khaddi Sagnia finished second in Stockholm last year and then went on to finish seventh at the World Championships, equalling her PB of 6.78m.

Fellow Swede Erica Jarder, the 2013 European indoor bronze medallist, also made it to the World Championships final. Jarder and Sagnia are currently tied 5-5 in their career head-to-head.

Organisers for the IAAF