Darya Klishina and her former training partner Tianna Bartoletta, the Olympic and defending champion, led the qualifiers for Friday’s women’s long jump final. But on a night when ceaseless rain from a leaden sky turned their runways into a gleaming hazard, even these two couldn’t reach the automatic qualifying mark of 6.70m.
Klishina, competing here as a neutral athlete, did best with a second-round effort of 6.66m, which took over the lead from Bartoletta’s first-round best of 6.64m, with third place being occupied by Serbia’s European indoor champion Ivana Spanovic, who retired after an opening effort of 6.62m.
On an evening that tested all the athletes, the one who probably ended up feeling worst was Britain’s 2015 world silver medallist Shara Proctor, who elevated herself into the 12th qualifying spot with her third and last effort of 6.45m before waiting and hoping that no one displaced her.
For a while it looked as if she was en route to joining her compatriot Lorraine Ugen, who won her qualifying group with 6.63m and finished with a broad smile after what looked like an even bigger third-round effort was disallowed for a marginal foul on the take-off board.
But then Germany’s Claudia Salman-Rath produced a final effort of 6.52m that left her dancing, if not actually singing, in the rain, and displaced the Briton, who finished 13th, with the last qualifying position going to Brazil’s Eliane Martins, who managed one centimetre more.
Bartoletta, whose 2015 victory replicated her first world title 10 years earlier when she was 19, now looks well placed for a hat-trick, but there is every chance of the final replicating the extraordinary battle that ensued at last year’s Olympics when she won with 7.17m, just two centimetres clear of her compatriot Brittney Reese.
"This weather reminds me of when I won my first world title 12 years ago in Helsinki, so to be honest I was not worried about it," said Bartoletta. "Maybe it was an omen. I just had that same mentality out there today as in that final."
Reese, meanwhile, will seek a fourth world title in the arena where she took the 2012 Olympic gold, having qualified ninth with 6.50m.
Britain’s third representative, Jazmin Sawyers, saved her best to last, but 6.34m was not enough to see her through. Also failing to progress were Canada’s Christabel Nettey, who had a best of 6.36m, and Quanesha Burks of the United States, who had a best of 6.44m.
Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF