Who Holds the Women’s Long Jump World Record? All the Details Explained

The women’s long jump has seen immense progress over the last few decades. In this in-depth post, we track the first recorded mark to the current women’s long jump world record of 7.31m and detail the top athletes who have pushed this event to new heights.

The Inaugural Women’s Long Jump World Record

Official record keeping for the women’s long jump began in 1922. At that time, Danish athlete Kinue Hitomi set the first documented world record at 5.17 meters. 

This jump was relatively short compared to the current standard, but it marked an important milestone as the first-ever benchmark for female long jumpers.

Over the next several decades, the record was pushed incrementally forward by various competitors. By 1948 when women’s long jump was first included as an Olympic event, the record stood at 5.69m.

1922Kinue HitomiDenmark5.17m
1948Fanny Blankers-KoenNetherlands5.69m

While records stayed under 6 meters until the 1950s, the stage was being set for larger barriers to fall.

Galina Chistyakova and the First 7 Meter Jump

Galina Chistyakova and the First 7 Meter Jump

As technique and training methods improved over time, the increments in the record become more dramatic. A major milestone came in 1988 when Soviet athlete Galina Chistyakova became the first woman to clear 7 meters with a world record jump of 7.08m.

This record stood for nearly a quarter century, finally being eclipsed in 2011 by American long jumper Brittney Reese who jumped 7.19m. Others continued to inch higher, including Russian Darya Klishina’s best mark of 7.30m.

Then came the current world record holder, who took the event to unprecedented distances.

Malaika Mihambo and the Current Women’s World Record

Malaika Mihambo and the Current Women's World Record

In 2022, German athlete Malaika Mihambo cemented her name in the record books with an astonishing world record leap of 7.31m.

Mihambo has been the world’s most dominant female long jumper in recent years. She has won back-to-back gold medals at World Championships in 2019 and 2022, along with an Olympic gold from Tokyo 2020 with a 7.00m jump.

Her world record jump came at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon where she showed she still had room left to improve on her already illustrious career. Mihambo possesses elite speed and physical ability to combine with her flawless athlete technique through every phase of her jump.

At just 28 years old, Mihambo may still have more barriers to break. But for now, she stands atop the record books by an impressive distance.

2022Malaika MihamboGermanyWorld Championships7.31m
2016Brittney ReeseUSAOlympic Games7.31m
2011Brittney ReeseUSAWorld Championships7.19m
1988Galina ChistyakovaSoviet UnionOlympics7.08m

Other Notable World Leading Women’s Long Jumpers

Other Notable World Leading Women's Long Jumpers

While Malaika Mihambo currently dominates the event, other elite long jumpers continue to push their limits attempting to track her down.

Nigeria’s Ese Brume is a rising African star who jumped an personal best of 7.17m in 2022. She earned silver behind Mihambo at World Championships and will aim for gold in 2024.

Greece’s Olympic bronze medalist Khaddi Sagnia and American NCAA standout Quanesha Burkes have also put themselves into the upper echelon of women sprinters with recent marks over 7 meters. They represent the next generation with their sights set on challenging Mihambo’s record.

In Asia, India’s own Anju Bobby George still holds the continental record at 6.83m from 2004 – representing the vast potential for more women to emerge as world class long jumpers from new countries around the globe.

The Bottom Line

The women’s long jump world record has seen monumental progression rising from just over 5 meters to the current record of 7.31m set by German icon Malaika Mihambo in 2022. 

Mihambo built on foundations from Eastern bloc trailblazers like Galina Chistyakova to established herself as the Undisputed queen of long jump and elevate this event to new heights.

Still just 28 years old, Mihambo shows no signs of slowing down. Meanwhile, rising young talents like Ese Brume represent the next generation hungry to make their mark in long jump history.

One thing is for certain – with women continually improving performance levels across the board, the record appears destined to be pushed further and further into the stratosphere in the years to come.

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