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Athletics | International

Reese aims for gold with first leap



As Olympic and twice world long jump champion, Britney Reese has become used to leaving her rivals in a pit of despair, and now the American is determined to win gold at the World Athletics Championships with her first leap in Moscow.

"I have recently been called the sixth-round knockout queen. I would rather be the first-round knockout queen," she told a news conference on Wednesday at the Luzhniki stadium.

"My approach this year is to get it in the first round."

Last year Reese, 26, became the first American woman to win the Olympic long jump title since Jackie Joyner-Kersee in 1988, and she believes her event is "finally in the spotlight".

"Long jump is where it used to be and it is getting stronger," said the 2009 and 2011 world champion.

"US athletes are finally getting back to the Jackie Joyner-Kersee days when she jumped seven metres frequently."

Reese, the third leading female US long jumper of all time behind Joyner-Kersee and Marion Jones, won with a leap of 7.12m in London and started this season with a bang by registering a lifetime outdoor best of 7.25 inDoha in May.

Her mark is by far the best in the world this year, the next best being German Sostene Moguenara's 7.04. Only two other women have jumped seven metres or better in 2013.

But her season has not all gone to plan.

In June her run of five straight national titles came to an end when she fouled out on three attempts.

Reese said she was hindered by a hip injury in the competition won by Janay DeLoach Soukup, who was third in the Olympics and will again be a major rival in Moscow.

"I have competed less this year. I am 95 percent fit ... but I have had three or four weeks full of practice," Reese said.

"It is going to be a great competition. I feel great and excited coming in. Hopefully I can bring home another gold."

The Moscow World Athletics Championships run from August 10-18.



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