John Salvado / AAP News
The Gold Coast 2018 silver medallist has come back from surgery to finish fifth in the world.
Brooke Buschkuehl was equal parts elated and shattered after coming within an agonising two centimetres of a first major medal in the women’s long jump at the world championships.
Little more than three months after recovering from knee surgery, Buschkuehl produced a best jump of 6.87m in the third round of an extremely tight final in Eugene.
But it wasn’t quite enough to earn the Victorian a place on the podium, with Germany’s Malaika Mihambo (7.12m) adding a second successive world title to her Tokyo Olympics gold.
Esa Brume from Nigeria (7.02m) and Leticia Oro Melo From Brazil (6.89m) claimed the minor medals.
“I’m so happy to come away fifth based on where I’ve come from,” said Buschkuehl, who finished a centimetre behind fourth-placed American Quanesha Burks.
“Back in March I could barely do a hop on my take-off leg.
“But obviously (being) so close to the bronze, it’s also shattering and very upsetting.”
Buschkuehl, 29, bettered her six-year-old PB with a leap of 7.13m last week in California.
The silver medallist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games has now finished inside the top 10 at the past two Olympics and the 2017, 2019 and 2022 world championships.
But until Sunday she had never figured in the top five at a major.
“A few weeks ago I wasn’t even sure I was going to make the final,” she said.
“I told my husband not to bother coming over here because I didn’t think I had a chance of making the final and now I feel really bad about that.
“Unfortunately my biggest jumps today were fouls but at least I know those big jumps are there.
“It’s just a matter of getting them on the board and hopefully at the Commonwealth Games we can do that.”
After seven long years, Michelle Jenneke smashed her personal best with 12.66 in a remarkable 100m hurdles semi-final.
Nigerian gold medallist Tobi Amusan obliterated the world record with a run of 12.12 seconds and Jenneke was among those to benefit.
“I said to my coach (Gary Bourne), we know they’re going to be fast and I want to try and hang onto them and be as close as possible and hope they drag me through to something fast,” Jenneke said.
“That seems to be exactly what happened.
“I was very fortunate to be put in that semi-final.
“It’s a massive PB and it’s a PB from seven years ago.
“It’s just unbelievable, running 12.6-anything has been a lifetime goal of mine.”
Celeste Mucci was disqualified in the semis.
Cedric Dubler hung tough after a gruelling two days to finish eighth in the decathlon (8246 points) and countryman Daniel Golubovic was 14th (8071).
Fellow Australian and Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Ash Moloney was forced to pull out after seven events with a painful knee injury.
Frenchman Kevin Mayer (8816) won his second world title.
Earlier on Sunday, Rhydian Cowley finished 18th in the men’s 35km walk, while fellow Australian Carl Gibbons did not finish the race.
Australia ended the 2022 championships with three medals – golds to Eleanor Patterson in the women’s high jump and Kelsey-Lee Barber in the women’s javelin, and bronze to Nina Kennedy in the women’s pole vault.
The United States dominated the table on home soil with 33 medals, including 13 golds, with Ethiopia (four golds) the only other country to win more than two events.
Gold – Eleanor Patterson (women’s high jump)
Gold – Kelsey-Lee Barber (women’s javelin)
Bronze – Nina Kennedy (women’s pole vault)
* Eleven top-eight finishes, the most at a world championships since 1999
* Sixth on the medals table, the highest-ever finish