Long jump

While the long jump is not technically a sprint, the long jump requires great speed prior to takeoff and historically sprinters have dominated the event.  The long jump entails sprinting down a runway toward a board which the competitor cannot cross prior to jumping toward the sand pit.  If the foot crosses the foul line prior to takeoff the jump is declared illegal.  Long jump records have often stood for long periods of time.  Jesse Owens' 1935 record of 8.13 meters was not broken until 1960 by Ralph Boston (8.21 meters) who later added to his record.  Bob Beamon set a record of 8.90 meters in 1968 in Mexico City which was not surpassed until 1991 by Michael Powell (8.95 meters) at the World Championships in Tokyo.  Irving Saladino of Panama currently has the longest recent jump of 8.73 meters in 2008. 

The long jump consists of the approach where the competitor attains top speed, the final strides where the jumper prepares for takeoff by slightly lowering the center of gravity and the takeoff where maximum contact with the foot is desired without placing emphasis on either the heel or toes. 

Undoubtedly the greatest long jump competition of all time the 1991 Tokyo World Championship featured Carl Lewis and Mike Powell with several jumps close to 29 feet.  Two long jumps in this competition exceeded the previous world record of 8.90 meters set by Bob Beamon in the 1968 Olympic games.  Carl Lewis' jump of 8.91 meters was wind-aided but Mike Powell's jump of 8.95 meters set a new World Record which still stands today.

Michael Powell's World Record long jump of 29 feet 5 1/2 inches


Bob Beamon's historical long jump of 8.9 meters or 29 feet 2 1/2 inches set at the 1968 Olympic games beat the previous record by nearly two feet and stood until 1991.  It still stands today as the Olympic record.


Carl Lewis illustrates perfect long jump form in slow motion

Irving Saladino of Panama jumps 8.73 meters