New author Tianna Bartoletta tries to defend long jump title
LONDON (AP) — When it comes to the secrets behind her success, Tianna Bartoletta is an open book.
And it’s a real page-turner, too.
The Olympic and world champion long jumper chronicled her rise — more specifically, her pitfalls — in a new e-book titled, “Why You’re Not A Track Star.” It lays out reasons youngsters might not be crushing their performances and how they might change things.
“It’s an honest reflection on why things don’t work out sometimes,” the 31-year-old American explained.
She hopes to write another chapter to her intriguing career Friday in the long jump final at the world championships. She’s the favorite along with teammate Brittney Reese, a three-time world champion.
While some of her teammates try to take in the sites and have some fun in London, to Bartoletta , this is nothing more than a business trip.
When she was younger, it was a different story. As a teenager at the 2005 world championships, she would play pingpong to take her mind off the nerves. It worked, too, and she won the title.
Back then, she was Tianna Madison. She won the 2006 world indoor title and then, “Radio silence,” she wrote in her book. “I couldn’t sprint, run, or jump to save my life.”
Now, she’s Tianna Bartoletta, after marrying her husband in 2012. She’s returned to form, too, winning the 2015 world long jump title and then the Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro. She also helped the 4x100-meter relay team to gold in Brazil.
Those lean years, though, are the theme of her e-book .
“I figured if I could explain that in a way that a young athlete could understand, maybe they would develop sooner and have a longer, more successful career and skip the seven years of down time that I had,” Bartoletta said.
She and her fellow long jumpers went through qualifying in a steady rain Wednesday. It didn’t bother her because she kept reminding herself of one thing: “Force equals mass times acceleration in all weather conditions,” she said.
That’s the science part of her talking. Her interests include molecular biology and astronomy.
“I love science,” she said.
Especially the science of winning.
A look at Day 8 of the world championships:
SAILING SCHIPPERS: A bronze medal in the 100 meters at the worlds has only energized Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers in her bid to defend her 200 title. Schippers’ biggest challenger in the final will be Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas, who finished a disappointing fourth in the 400 after stumbling while glancing at the scoreboard near the finish line. “I live and I learn through it,” said Miller-Uibo, who won her semifinal heat Thursday. “I’m getting over it. Focusing on the 200.” Another challenger is Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou, the silver medalist in the 100. Missing from the field will be American sprinter Tori Bowie, who didn’t start her first heat because of a banged-up hip from a fall over the line after winning the 100.
THE CHASE IS ON: Ruth Jebet had quite a stretch last season — winning the Olympic steeplechase title in Brazil and days later breaking the world record. A transfer from Kenya, Jebet represents Bahrain. Her biggest obstacles will be defending champion Hyvin Jepkemoi of Kenya and American Emma Coburn, who captured bronze in Rio.
FIRST FIVE: With Ashton Eaton retired, a new decathlon champion will be crowned for the first time since 2011 at any world championship or Olympics. The first five events take place Friday. Damian Warner of Canada won silver two years ago in Beijing, and was often Eaton’s closest pursuer. The wild-cards in the event are Olympic silver medalist Kevin Mayer of France and Trey Hardee of the United States, who captured gold at the 2009 and ’11 world championships.
HAMMER, HAMMER, HAMMER: Pawel Fajdek of Poland is the favorite to win his third straight world championship title in the hammer throw. If he doesn’t win, the gold may stay in Poland. Wojciech Nowicki had the longest throw in qualifying and has bronze medals from last year’s Olympics and the 2015 worlds.
STRONG CAST: 100-meter hurdles world-record holder Kendra Harrison leads a strong American crew into the first round. Harrison didn’t earn a place on the U.S. hurdles squad for Rio last July, but soon after went on to set the world record. Olympic silver medalist Nia Ali is in the field, along with 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson. The final is Saturday.
AP National Writer Eddie Pells contributed to this report.
More AP track coverage: https://www.apnews.com/tag/London2017