World indoor long jump champion Gomes out in qualifying

BEIJING (AP): World indoor champion Naide Gomes of Portugal was the main victim during a brutal day of qualifying for the women’s Olympic long jump final Tuesday.

Joining the year’s top performer on the sidelines was five-time world indoor champion Tatyana Kotova, who finished 14th with only the top dozen advancing.

Triple jump bronze medalist Hrysopiyi Devetzi of Greece was also eliminated in 15th place, and triple jump world champion Yargelis Savigne of Cuba lagged in 18th.

“It’s a shame. A final should be with the best ones,” said Carolina Kluft of Sweden, who did advance.

Anju Bobby George of India, the 2003 world championship bronze medalist, hurt her right foot on her last warmup jump and failed on all three of her attempts.

She said the surface was too fast and “we’re not getting the rhythm.”

“It’s good for the runners, not so good for the jumpers,” she said.

U.S. jumper Brittney Reese had the top mark of 6.87 meters, ahead of Maurren Higa Maggi of Brazil at 6.79.

Heptathlon silver medalist Lyudmila Blonska of Ukraine was third at 6.76, edging triple jump runner-up Tatyana Lebedeva.

And after failing to make the triple jump final, Kluft saved her Olympics by getting comfortably through in the long jump.

“I just want to jump my best and try to break my PB. We’ll see how far that takes me,” Kluft said, referring to her mark of 6.97.

The 2004 Olympic heptathlon champion switched away from her best event to try a new challenge.

Gomes, the dominating jumper of the season, had only lost one competition and was a strong favorite to add the Olympic gold to her indoor title from Valencia, Spain, in March.

She set a season’s best of 7.12 meters in the run-up to the Olympics last month.

But she imploded at the Bird’s Nest, fouling on her first two attempts before she stutter-stepped during her final attempt for a jump of 6.29 that left her 32nd overall.

“I am not happy but it’s life,” Gomes said. Only those reaching 6.75 or the top 12 jumpers qualified for Friday’s final.

Earlier report

BEIJING (AP): World indoor champion Naide Gomes of Portugal failed to make it into the final of the long jump competition at the Olympics on Tuesday.

The dominating jumper of the season, she had only lost one competition and was a strong favorite to add the Olympic gold to her indoor title from Valencia in March.

She set a season’s best of 7.12 meters in the runup to the Olympics last month.

She imploded at the Bird’s Nest on Tuesday morning, fouling on her first two attempts before she made a mess of her runup on her final attempt for a jump of 6.29 that left her 16th in her group.

Only those reaching 6.75 or the top 12 jumpers qualified for Friday’s final.

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