There wasn't much downtime - barely a week - between a third-place finish at USATF Indoor Nationals and IAAF World Indoors for UB alumnus Jon Jones. He didn't even have to leave Portland, Oregon.
Representing the USA at the highest level for the first time, Jones posted a best throw of 20.31 meters to finish fifth on the world stage.
The first run through the field showed quickly where Jon stood, as his opening throw of 18.88 meters placed him in the bottom three of competitors who registered a distance, but he moved up in a big way on his second throw, throwing 20.01 meters. That second throw held up after three rounds, when he sat eighth, just barely high enough to advance to further throws.
Meanwhile, Kurt Roberts, who won the USATF Championship last week, fouled on his first two attempts and failed to crack 18 meters on his lone legal throw, leaving Jones as the highest-finishing American in the meet. Reese Hoffa, who finished second last week, did not compete.
As the final qualifier, Jones threw first in the fourth and fifth rotation, but needed, thanks to a new rule for this meet, to move into the top four to earn a sixth throw. Though he moved up to fifth with his fourth throw, he needed to improve by a quarter of a meter to advance. When he failed, it was a short waiting game to confirm his fifth-place finish as the next three competitors failed to pass him.
Presumably, the next big stage for Jones is the US Olympic Trials in the first week of July, where Jon will have a chance at the Olympic Games coming off this pair of strong performances in March.