Double heartache for Team GB in women’s long jump as Jazmin Sawyers and Abigail Irozuru fall short in the final as Germany’s Malaika Mihambo takes gold with last-gasp leap
Jazmin Sawyers and Abigail Irozuru missed out on the medals in the long jump final as Germany’s Malaika Mihambo took gold.
The tense final went down to the wire as Mihambo produced an inspired last-gasp jump to win the event and snatch gold away from USA’s Brittney Reese, who held a slim lead going into the final round.
Reese, a multiple global world champion, had a best jump of 6.97m while Nigeria’s Ese Brume, who finished with bronze, also jumped the same distance as the American but Reese held top spot due to her second best mark being superior to Brume’s.
Team GB’s Jazmin Sawyers misses out on the medals in the women’s long jump final
Sawyers, 27, from Stoke-on-Trent, finished eighth with a best jump of 6.80m on Tuesday
However, Mihambo snatched Olympic glory at the last second with a huge 7m jump – beating Reese and Brume’s jumps by 3cm.
Team GB’s Sawyers, 27, from Stoke-on-Trent, finished eighth with a best jump of 6.80m while Irozuru came 11th with 6.51m.
‘I’m disappointed,’ Sawyers admitted after the event. ‘Any Olympic final is an achievement but at this point in my career I think I would be doing myself a disservice if I was satisfied with eighth place.
Sawyers’ Team GB team-mate Abigail Irozuru (pictured) also missed out on a medal
Irozuru, pictured competing in the event, came 11th with best jump of 6.51m
‘I think in a competition like that, where there were no crazy distances, it was an opportunity to get on the podium and I couldn’t manage that today which I am disappointed by, but I still did well but it’s just not what I want.
‘I just focus on the next round and make sure I have my cues from my coach and thought about my next jump and if I didn’t get it then I could reassess then, but you’ve got to act like you’re going to get it. Turns out round two was my best jump to fight for that spot. 6.80m is a tough cut off point for top eight.’
Irozuru said: ‘I did not unfortunately do what I came to do. I did think there was more in my legs but my runway was just quite off, and I couldn’t quite put it together.
‘For me I was probably thrown a little bit by the fact that in the first round the ladies had all jumped over 6.80m and then I’d fouled in the first round, so I knew that I needed to do the second best performance of my life or more to get into that top eight.
Germany’s Malaika Mihambo took the gold medal with a last-gasp leap of 7m
The German snatched Olympic glory at the last second of the tense final with a huge 7m jump
Mihambo (right) is congratulated by USA’s Brittney Reese, who finished with the silver medal
‘Normally my runway is spot on and I was really thrown by that, even in the final round I was well behind the board, and it just didn’t come together.’
Irozuru added: ‘This is my third time lucky – I didn’t make 2012, ruptured my Achilles in 2016, took a couple of years off in retirement and now I’m here, so being an Olympic finalist can’t be taken away from me.
‘I would have preferred to be amongst the top eight and to be a higher tier Olympic finalist if one can call it that, but this is the way it’s unfolded and I’m just blessed and I’m thankful. It’s been a journey but I’m so thankful for it.’