Athletics at the 1968 Summer Olympics – Men's long jump

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Men's long jump
at the Games of the XIX Olympiad
Venue Estadio Olímpico Universitario
Dates October 18
Medalists
Gold medal    United States
Silver medal    East Germany
Bronze medal    United States
1964 1972
Athletics at the
1968 Summer Olympics
Athletics pictogram.svg
Track events
100 m   men   women
200 m men women
400 m men women
800 m men women
1500 m men
5000 m men
10,000 m men
80 m hurdles women
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men
3000 m
steeplechase
men
4×100 m relay men women
4×400 m relay men
Road events
Marathon men
20 km walk men
50 km walk men
Field events
Long jump men women
Triple jump men
High jump men women
Pole vault men
Shot put men women
Discus throw men women
Javelin throw men women
Hammer throw men
Combined events
Pentathlon women
Decathlon men

The men's long jump was one of four men's jumping events on the Athletics at the 1968 Summer Olympics program in Mexico City. Bob Beamon won in a new world record of 8.90m; a record which stood for 23 years until it was finally broken in 1991, when Mike Powell jumped 8.95 m (29 ft. 4⅜ in.) at the World Championships in Tokyo.

Medalists[edit]

Gold United States Bob Beamon
United States (USA)
Silver East Germany Klaus Beer
East Germany (GDR)
Bronze United States Ralph Boston
United States (USA)

Records[edit]

Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  Ralph Boston (USA)
 Igor Ter-Ovanesyan (URS)
8.35 m Modesto, United States
Mexico City, Mexico
29 May 1965
19 October 1967
Olympic record  Ralph Boston (USA) 8.12 m Rome, Italy 2 September 1960

Results[edit]

Final[edit]

Held on October 18, 1968

Rank Athlete Mark 1 2 3 4 5 6 Notes
Gold medal icon.svg  Bob Beamon (USA) 8.90 8.90 8.04 - - - - WR
Silver medal icon.svg  Klaus Beer (GDR) 8.19 7.97 8.19 x 7.62 x x
Bronze medal icon.svg  Ralph Boston (USA) 8.16 8.16 8.05 7.91 x x 7.97
4  Igor Ter-Ovanesyan (URS) 8.12 8.12 8.09 x x 8.10 8.08
5  Tonu Lepik (URS) 8.09 7.82 8.09 7.63 7.36 7.84 7.75
6  Allen Crawley (AUS) 8.02 x 8.01 x 7.80 x 8.02
7  Jack Pani (FRA) 7.97 7.94 7.97 7.69 7.58 7.61 x
8  Andrzej Stalmach (POL) 7.94 7.71 7.94 7.88 7.75 7.75 7.84
9  Lynn Davies (GBR) 7.94 6.43 7.94 x
10  Hiroomi Yamada (JPN) 7.93 x 7.93 x
11  Leonid Barkovskiy (URS) 7.90 7.90 7.82 x
12  Reinhold Boschert (FRG) 7.89 x 7.54 7.89
13  Michael Ahey (GHA) 7.71 7.71 7.57 7.40
14  Lars-Olof Höök (SWE) 7.66 7.66 x x
15  Victor Brooks (JAM) 7.51 x x 7.51
16  Gerard Ugolini (FRA) 7.44 7.44 7.02 x

Beamon's jump[edit]

On his first jump, Bob Beamon landed near the far end of the sand pit but the optical device which had been installed to measure jump distances was not designed to measure a jump of such length. This forced the officials to bring a tape measure to gauge the jump manually, which added to the feat's aura. After several minutes, it was announced that Beamon had set a world record of 8.90 m (29 ft. 2½ in.), bettering the existing record by 55 cm (21¾ in.). When the announcer called out the distance for the jump, Beamon – unfamiliar with metric measurements – still did not realize what he had done.[1] When his teammate and coach Ralph Boston told him that he had broken the world record by nearly 2 feet, his legs gave way and an astonished and overwhelmed Beamon suffered a brief cataplexy attack brought on by the emotional shock,[2] and collapsed to his knees, his body unable to support itself, placing his hands over his face. In one of the more endearing images of the Games, his competitors then helped him to his feet.[3] The defending Olympic champion Lynn Davies told Beamon, "You have destroyed this event," and in sports jargon, a new adjective – Beamonesque – came into use to describe spectacular feats.[4]

Prior to Beamon's jump, the world record had been broken thirteen times since 1901, with an average increase of 6 cm (2½ in.) and the largest increase being 15 cm (6 in.). Beamon's jump is still the Olympic record and 48 years later remains the second longest wind legal jump in history. Sports journalist Dick Schaap wrote a book about the leap, The Perfect Jump, and the feat was named by Sports Illustrated magazine as one of the five greatest sports moments of the 20th century.

In making his record jump, Beamon enjoyed a number of advantageous environmental factors.[5] At an altitude of 2240 m, Mexico City's air had less resistance than air at sea level, although the rarefied atmosphere in Mexico City would have made a difference of only approximately 4 cm. Beamon also benefited from a tail wind of 2 meters per second on his jump, the maximum allowable for record purposes. It has been estimated that the tail wind and altitude may have improved Beamon's long jump distance by 31 cm (12.2 in.).[5] After winning the gold medal in Mexico City, he never again jumped over 8.22 m (26 ft. 11¾ in.). Beamon's jump was the only time the world record has been set in Men's Olympic long jump competition, though Robert LeGendre did set the record as part of the pentathlon competition in 1924 and women have done it three times (1956, 1964 and 1968).

Shortly after Beamon's jump a major rainstorm blew through making it more difficult for his competitors to try to match Beamon's feat.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CCTV International". Cctv.com. 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  2. ^ Great Olympic Moments – Sir Steve Redgrave, 2011
  3. ^ "Encyclopædia Britannica Article on Bob Beamon". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  4. ^ IOC Athlete Profile, – "His achievement inspired a new word in the English language: Beamonesque, meaning an athletic feat so dramatically superior to previous feats that it overwhelms the imagination."
  5. ^ a b Ward -Smith, A.J., (1986) Altitude and wind effects on long jump performance with particular reference to the world record established by Bob Beamon. Journal of Sports Science, 4, 89–99