PERKINSTON — Britney Reese leaped into her fourth Olympic long jump finals on Sunday in Tokyo (Saturday night in Mississippi).
The Mississippi Gulf Coast Athletics Hall of Famer jumped 6.86 meters (22 feet, 6.25 inches) on her second attempt to pass the automatic qualifying mark by 4.5 inches. Reese, who finished third in qualifying will jump again Monday night Mississippi time in the finals.
She’s hoping to add to her collection of Olympic medals. Reese won gold in London in 2012 and silver in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. If she gets gold in Tokyo, she’ll become the first American woman and only the second woman in Olympic history to win a second in long jump history. The German Heike Dreschler won in 1992 and 2000.
She could also join Dreschler and American Jackie Joyner Kersee as the only three-time Olympic medalists.
Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic jumped 7.00 meters, and Germany’s Malaika Mihambo was second at 6.98.
One of Reese’s prime competitors failed to qualify. Russia’s Darya Klishina fouled on her first two attempts and either suffered cramps or a hamstring injury before her final try. She was one of five competitors with jumps over 7 meters this season. Reese’s fellow American Quanesha Burks also failed to qualify.
Reese, who was inducted into the MGCCC Hall of Fame in 2011, was an NJCAA All-American basketball player at Gulf Coast. She went to Ole Miss after graduation and won a pair of NCAA championships.
She’s won gold medals at four world outdoor meets, three world indoors, nine U.S. outdoors, four US indoors and four SECs.