|Brittney Reese competing in Wednesday's long jump final. (AP/Matt Dunham)|
More than one kind of American athlete took gold by playing in the sand Wednesday.
Moments after Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor became back-to-back-to-back gold medal champions in beach volleyball, Brittney Reese leaped an Games-best 7.12 meters into the soft, golden sand to earn a gold medal in long jump for the United States.
American Janay DeLoach took bronze thanks to a 6.89-meter leap. Silver went to Elena Sokolova of Russia. Normally the U.S. isn't so proficient in women's long jump like it was here. For example, the Russians swept this event in Athens eight years ago, and Reese's gold is the first for an American in the long jump in 24 years. Who won it last? Track and field legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee at the Seoul Games.
The gold is redemption for Reese, who did well in qualifying at Beijing's Games but finished fifth in the final round of competition. Reese and DeLoach cap off a day that saw the U.S. haul in 11 total medals, including four golds.