Rhonda Watkins: World Junior Long Jump Champion!!

Aug. 19, 2006

Sophomore Rhonda Watkins was crowned the World Junior Long Jump Champion on Saturday in Beijing, China after leaping to 21-2.50, giving Trinidad and Tobago a gold medal.

Watkins entered the finals with the number one prelim mark, 21-2.75, and trailed early in the competition on Saturday. In the third round, she leaped out to 21-2.50, a mark that would hold up for three more rounds as she claimed her first World title.

Watkins was first, while Germany's Anika Leipold was second (6.42m/21-0.75) and China's Yuan Zhang was third (6.41m/21-0.50).

This week's competition capped off an incredible freshman year in which she won Pac-10 and West Region titles and competed at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Watkins bettered her Trinidadian Junior long jump record several times in 2006 (21-6.25), and set a new junior high jump record of 6-0.

Watkins' win marks the second medal for a Bruin at this year's World meet; sophomore Nicole Leach took home the silver medal in the 400m hurdle competition on Thursday (55.55).

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