LONDON – The Beast is back.
Brittney Reese – whose Twitter handle is @DaLJBeast (“in a sand pit near you”) returned to the scene of her Olympic Games London 2012 triumph to win an unprecedented fourth IAAF World Championships title.
Reese had only two legal jumps, but her third attempt Friday night was long enough for the gold medal. She leaped 7.02 meters (23 feet, 0 1/2 inches).
Tianna Bartoletta of Team USA, the reigning world and Olympic champion, won the bronze medal at 6.97 (22-10 1/2) behind Darya Klishina, an “Authorized Neutral Athlete” from Russia at 7.00 (22-11 3/4).
Reese’s only other legal jump was her first one. She claimed the fifth straight world long jump title for Team USA and joins men’s pole vaulter Sam Kendricks as Ole Miss alumni winning gold medals in London.
“I’ve been having a hard couple of weeks with the death of my grandfather,” Reese said. “I knew I had to come out here and put on a show for him. He put me in position to run track.”
Bartoletta, who also won the world title in 2005, was trying to win her third crown to tie Reese with three, but their duel never materialized.
Between them they have won the last seven global titles. Reese won three world championships from 2009-2013 and the gold medal in London while Bartoletta won the 2015 world crown and the gold medal at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Reese was second in Rio.
Bartoletta was in fourth place going into her sixth and final attempt. After a long wait for the men’s hammer throwers to be announced, she clapped her hands to involve the crowd. Then Bartoletta, the reigning national champion, jumped far enough to move onto the podium.