August 2 — A single jump; that’s all it took.
Tara Davis only needed one attempt in the preliminaries to qualify for the women’s long jump final at the Tokyo Olympics.
Davis jumped 6.85 meters (22 feet, 5 1/2 inches) for an automatic berth and didn’t have to jump again. So she didn’t.
Davis qualified fourth of 12 finalists for Tuesday’s finals, which were set for 8:50 p.m. Monday for Greenville time. Japan is ahead of Greenville in the world time zone. NBC plans to cover the women’s long jump finals. The US network also provided athletics coverage and NBC also provided live broadband coverage on its website.
Seven-time world champion and former Olympic champion of the United States of America Brittney Reese passed Davis just 6.85 meters in Group A. Reese and Davis also finished first and second at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.
This will be Davis’ first time in a long jump final at the Olympics. Reese, 34, from Inglewood, Calif., Won gold at the London Olympics in 2012 and silver at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
Davis, who has family in Greenville, started competing for the Wylie Flyers at age 4 before moving to California. She won the California State High School Championships in the long jump, triple jump and 100-meter hurdles and was the Gatorade National High School Athlete of the Year.
Davis won the NCAA indoor (22-9) and outdoor (21-11 3/4) long jump titles last season for the University of Texas. She also set an American college record in the outdoor long jump with a 23-5 1/4 jump in the 93rd Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, named after a former Greenville coach.
Her father Ty Davis, a former football player and Greenville Lion track runner, coached her in Tokyo.
His grandmother Roz Lane, a retired real estate agent in Greenville, was planning to watch the Olympics at a resort in Orlando. NBC has organized a special viewing area in Orlando for the families of the American Olympians as spectators have been banned from the stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Texas A&M long jumper Tya Gittens also qualified for the final at 6.72. Gittens is competing for Trinidad and Tobago. Gittens was second behind Davis in the NCAA Outdoor Long Jump Championship.
Ivana Spanovic of Serbia led the qualifying at 7.00 meters (22-9 3/4). She jumped in Group B. She was a bronze medalist at the 2016 Olympics and is the reigning world indoor champion.
Malaika Mihamabo of Germany was second in Group B and second overall at 6.98. Mihamabo won the outdoor world title in 2019.
Davis and her boyfriend Hunter Woodhall, who will compete in the Tokyo Paralympic Games, have received widespread global coverage and have appeared in television commercials.