Darya Klishina: Meet the Russian Long Jumper Who's Turning Heads

Zack Pumerantz@z_pumerantzAnalyst IIIJuly 26, 2012

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MARCH 11:  Darya Klishina of Russia looks on prior to the Women’s Long Jump Final during day three of the 14th IAAF World Indoor Championships at the Atakoy Athletics Arena on March 11, 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Flirting with both a modeling career and Olympic greatness, Russian sensation Darya Klishina is quickly becoming a household name around the world.

At just 21 years old, the long-jumping beauty owns the second-best junior mark (7.03 meters) and is fast becoming far more than just another talented athlete passing through the ranks.

As she prepares for her first Olympics, in majestic London no less, Klishina will be target practice for millions of sore eyes. Few have ever entered the historic games with as much fanfare as this blossoming blond is currently enjoying.

The Tver-born phenom has finally reached a crossroads, and she's yet to even wave her country's flag.

On the one hand, she can continue her ferocious climb toward the athletic pantheon and escape to passionate rounds of applause. But on the other, she can lose sight of her physical prowess and turn to male magazines for exposure...or rather, the Anna Kournikova route.

Now that she's reached the big stage, it's time Darya Klishina takes a step back, embraces her talent and soars toward immortality—on and off the track.

She seems to have the latter mastered—a brilliant repertoire on camera. Now it's time for Klishina to cement her name among the vast number of competitive legends who have graced her very field.

The time is now.

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