Robert Emmiyan in 2006
15 February 1965|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||69 kg (152 lb)|
Robert Emmiyan (Armenian: Ռոբերտ Էմմիյան; born 16 February 1965 in Leninakan, Armenian SSR) is a retired long jumper who represented the USSR and Armenia. He is the fourth best long jumper in history and the best long jumper not of African-American descent. His personal best jump of 8.86 metres, which he achieved in Tsakhkadzor in May 1987, is the current European record.
Emmiyan received the Honoured Master of Sports of the USSR award in 1987.
At age 16, Robert Emmiyan jumped 7.77 meters, the best jump in the world for his age group.
Emmiyan started competing for the Soviet Union in athletics on an international level in 1981.
Emmiyan won the gold medal at the 1986 European Championships with a jump of 8.41 metres, setting a new championship record. Teammate Sergey Layevskiy was the only other man to jump over eight metres, jumping 8.01m, in a dominant victory by Emmiyan. Emmiyan's record in the Championship still remains unbroken.
In what was a great year for Emmiyan, he had the best jump of 1986.
In 1987, Emmiyan won the 1987 European Athletics Indoor Championships again, making it his second consecutive gold medal at the championships, and set a European record for the long jump indoors – 8.49 meters.
Emmiyan participated at the 1987 European Cup and came in first place. Emmiyan set the Cup's long jump record at 8.38 meters. This record was never surpassed and remained when the Cup became defunct in 2006.
On 22 May 1987, in the high land of Tsakhkadzor (1840 meters above sea level) Emmiyan jumped 8.86 meters. At that time, it was the second best jump ever, after a record jump of Bob Beamon (8.90 meters) in Mexico City in 1968. Later, only Michael Powell (8.95 meters) and Carl Lewis (8.87 meters) jumped farther than Emmiyan. Thus, Emmiyan's jump of 8.86 meters from 1988 is currently the fourth best jump of all time, the first 29-foot jump since Bob Beamon's 1968 world record, and is also the current European record.
Emmiyan was still able to train and remain in good shape. He continued to jump over 8.20 and 8.30 meters. But the mental toll caused by the earthquake remained. Long jumping requires a great deal of focus and concentration. Emmiyan began to decline athletically and his goal of breaking the world record was fading. He claimed his life and career had "changed from what it had been before."
In 1991, Emmiyan started competing for his now independent country of Armenia. At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, with a jump of 7.76 meters he failed to qualify for the finals, finishing in 28th place. Emmiyan soon retired from competitions.
When the 1988 Armenian earthquake occurred on December 7, Emmiyan's home in the town of Gyumri was heavily damaged. His father was killed and other members of his family also perished. Emmiyan suffered psychological problems following the earthquake which weakened his mentality for long jumping.
Some time after his career ended, Emmiyan moved to Paris, France. Emmiyan married a woman from the Armenian community and with her has two daughters, Fiona and Lauren. His family speak Armenian at home and one day, Emmiyan hopes to return to Armenia. It is difficult for him to live away from his homeland, but he has more time to contribute to the development of athletics in Armenia from afar.
- Robert Emmiyan. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2011-09-21.
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- "EUROPEAN INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS (MEN)". www.gbrathletics.com. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
- "European long jump record holder Robert Emmiyan relives his famous win from Stuttgart 86". European Athletics. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
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- "Geographical Location". www.tsakhkadzor.am. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
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- "Athletics at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games: Men's Long Jump". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "Athletics at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games: Men's Long Jump". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "Emmiyan named new Armenia athletics federation president". European Athletics. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- Ռոբերտ Էմմիյան. Մի օր կվերադառնամ հայրենիք, որովհետեւ առանց Հայաստանի ինձ համար շատ դժվար է (in Armenian). sport.news.am. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
| Men's Long jump European Record Holder
22 May 1981 –