Tatyana Lebedeva led a Russian 1-2-3 in the Olympic women's long jump final Friday as Marion Jones of the United States missed out on a medal.
Lebedeva, who cried tears of sorrow after winning only bronze in her favored triple jump Monday, made amends with a winning leap of 7.07 meters in the second round.
Compatriots Irina Simagina and Tatyana Kotova took silver and bronze respectively. Both jumped 7.05 but Simagina had the next best effort of 7.02.
Jones won the bronze medal in the long jump four years ago, part of a five-medal haul in Sydney, but she has endured a difficult year and her best of 6.85 meters was distinctly average by her standards, leaving her fifth, informs Reuters.
According to the Independent, a banner near the long jump pit read: "Marion come back to fly, I have always been with you".
However, the reception she was given on being announced to the crowd was not as clamorous as you would have expected for such a great champion, a reflection, perhaps, of the drugs controversy which has continued to dog her in recent times.
Simagina, aged 22, has emerged as a leading contender this season, but Lebedeva and Kotova came here with all the benefits of experience. Lebedeva, 28, holds the world indoor long jump title as well as the triple jump indoor and outdoor crowns. Kotova, 27, was fourth in the Sydney long jump four years ago, second in the world outdoor championships and first indoors.
Carolina Kluft, the heptathlon champion, psyched herself up into her usual frenzy but could jump no better than 6.62m. Australia's Bronwyn Thompson mounted the best challenge to the Russians, but was unable to better her fourth round leap of 6.96m.
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