American long-jumper Brittney Reese, the four-time reigning world champion in her event, just added a gold medal to her list of accomplishments by winning the long jump in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
Reese, a 25-year-old native of Inglewood, Calif., is now only the second U.S. woman to win a gold medal in the long jump event.
Reese competed in the long jump during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing but placed only fifth in the event. But this time she didn’t settle for anything less than gold with a winning leap of 7.12 meters (23.3 feet) on Aug. 8. She beat out Russia’s Elena Sokolova, who took the silver medal with a jump 7.07 meters (23.19 feet) ; Janay Deloach, another American long jumper, won the bronze with a jump of 6.89 meters (22.6 feet).
Reese and Jackie Joyner-Kersee are the only U.S. women to accomplish such a feat; Joyner-Kersee won gold in the long jump during the 1988 Games. Both women are African Americans.
Meanwhile, another Inglewood, Calif. native, Lashinda Demus, added another medal to the U.S.’s total by winning silver in the women’s 400-meter hurdles race.
Demus was just a half-a-stride behind Russian hurdler Natalya Antyukh, who won gold with a time of 52.70 seconds; Demus placed second at 52.77 seconds. Czech Republic’s Zuzana Hejnova finished third with a time of 53.38 seconds.
Demus, a two-time World Champion, had competed in the 400-meter hurdles of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens but finished in only ninth place. She didn’t compete in the 2008 Games in Beijing because she was still recovering from giving birth to twins less than a year earlier. She now has an Olympic medal to solidify her return to athletic excellence.