Gong Luying in the long jump at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017 (© Getty Images)
Gong Luying took China's third girls' long jump gold in the history of the World U18 Championships with a consistent series of jumps headed by a best of 6.37m. Gong, who entered the final with the best performance this year, added a further two centimetres to her best.
In a close competition for the other medals, Lea-Sophie Klik took the silver for Germany with awind-assisted 6.30m. Diane Mouillac of France finished third with 6.28m, a personal best by 24 centimetres, just ahead of Latvia's Kitija Paula Melnbarde, who lost out on a medal on countback.
Swirling winds, ranging from -2.7m/s to 2.9m/s, made things tricky for the jumpers. Some, however, coped well with the conditions.
Melnbarde of Latvia reached 6.28m, a personal best by 21 centimetres, in round one to take a clear lead. Only Gong was able to get close in round two with 6.24m. The Chinese then did even better on her third jump, reaching 6.29m to move into the lead by a single centimetre. In the same round, Klik improved to 6.20m to move into the bronze medal position.
As it turned out, there were many more good jumps to come in the second half of the final. First the Chinese improved further in round four to extend her lead with a 6.37m. Then came a 6.30m (2.2m/s) from Klik to move into silver with her fifth jump.
Finally, on her last jump, Mouillac, only fifth up to that point with a best of 6.09m, reached 6.28m. This equalled Melnbarde's best, but as the Latvian's second-best jump was only 6.00m, it was Mouillac who would make the podium.
Gong closed out the competition in style with a jump of 6.34m, the second best distance of the competition to confirm her gold was a well-deserved one.
Following gold medals in the pole vault and triple jump, China made history by becoming the first nation to win three girls’ jumps events at one World U18 Championships.
Pawel Jackowski for the IAAF