LONG JUMP

by Arabella Watt

History

The long jump was historically called the broad jump it is a track and field event in which athletes combine speed, strength, and agility in an attempt to leap as far as possible from a take-off point. This event has a history in the Ancient Olympic Games and has been a modern Olympic event for men since the first Olympics in 1896 and for women since 1948.

Rules

At the elite level, competitors run down a runway (usually coated with the same rubberized surface as running tracks, crumb rubber also vulcanized rubber—known generally as an all-weather track) and jump as far as they can from a wooden board 20 cm or 8 inches wide that is built flush with the runway into a pit filled with finely ground gravel or sand. If the competitor starts the leap with any part of the foot past the foul line, the jump is declared a foul and no distance is recorded. A layer of plasticine is placed immediately after the board to detect this occurrence. An official (similar to a referee) will also watch the jump and make the determination. The competitor can initiate the jump from any point behind the foul line; however, the distance measured will always be perpendicular to the foul line to the nearest break in the sand caused by any part of the body or uniform. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the competitor to get as close to the foul line as possible.

Famous Long Jumpers

Video Greg Rutherford jump

Greg Rutherford long jump 8.51m British Record

Techniques

There are five main components of the long jump: the approach run, the last two strides, takeoff, action in the air, and landing. Speed in the run-up, or approach, and a high leap off the board are the fundamentals of success. Because speed is such an important factor of the approach, it is not surprising that many long jumpers also compete successfully in sprints.

Records

Jesse Owens set a long jump world record 8.13 m (26 ft 8 in) that was not broken for 25 years and 2 months, until 1960 byRalph Boston. At the 1968 Summer Olympics Bob Beamon jumped 8.90 m (29 ft 21⁄4 in) at an altitude of 7,349 feet (2,240 m), a jump not exceeded for 23 years, and which remains the second longest legal jump of all time. On August 30, 1991 Mike Powell of the United States set the current men's world record at the World Championships in Tokyo. Powell's record 8.95 m (29 ft 41⁄4 in) has now stood for nearly 24 years.

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