Long jump world record holder Mike Powell today visited the IAAF Heritage World / Continental Cup - 1977 To 2018 – Exhibition in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

The exhibition, which is located in the Forum Nova Karolina Shopping Centre in the centre of the city, was launched on 5 June. It is open seven days a week for the next three months closing on Sunday 9 September, the last day of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 competition.

Mike Powell, the two-time world long jump champion, who is the IAAF Continental Cup Team Americas Ambassador, could not be here for the opening ceremony but made the trip ‘over the pond’ in the last weekend ahead of tomorrow’s Golden Spike IAAF World Challenge meeting in Ostrava.

This afternoon, Powell officially handed over to Valter Bocek, Chief Executive Officer of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018, the USA team vest and competition numbers which he wore at the IAAF World Championships Tokyo 1991.

Mike Powell with Valter Boček, CEO of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 (Pavel Lebeda)Mike Powell with Valter Boček, CEO of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 (Pavel Lebeda) © Copyright

On 30 August 1991, in a fantastic head-to-head long jump duel with fellow American Carl Lewis, Powell’s fifth round 8.95m took the gold, breaking the world record which had been set by the legendary Bob Beamon in the Mexico Olympic Games almost 23 years earlier. In 2018, some 27 years since Toyko, Powell’s leap remains the world record.

“It’s gives me great pleasure to be here in Ostrava and to loan my Tokyo competition top and numbers for public display at the IAAF Heritage Exhibition to help tell the story of our sport’s wonderful history,” said Powell. “I look forward to returning to the city in September for the Continental Cup where I’ll act as captain for Team Americas. This is going to be fun!”

On show in the exhibition along with the bib is a signed copy of the 9 September 1991 edition of Sports Illustrated, the front cover of which has an image of Powell in-flight moments prior to setting the record.

The IAAF Heritage World / Continental Cup – 1977 to 2018 – Exhibition is kindly supported by the International Athletics Foundation, ASICS, Seiko, TDK and Mondo and is delivered by IAAF Heritage along with the Czech Athletics Federation and the LOC of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018.


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Physics Explains How a Long Jumper Leaped So Far He Almost Cleared the Pit

What were you doing when you were 19? Chances are, you weren’t breaking a 23-year-old world long jump record like Juan Miguel Echevarria. At the international Diamond League competition in Stockholm on Sunday, the Cuban long jumper leaped so far he almost cleared the sand pit, showcasing not only incredible athleticism but an uncanny ability to manipulate physics.

It was hardly important that a slight tailwind — at 2.1 meters per second, just 0.1 meters per second faster than official rules permit — disqualified his jump distance from record purposes. By completing a jump of 29 feet, 11.5 inches (8.83 meters), Echevarria blew away Jeff Henderson of the United States, who came in second place with a jump of 27 feet and 6 inches (8.39 meters). It’s clear from the video below that the lanky Echevarria approached the board — the piece of wood marking the point where a jumper should take off — with immense speed, but as sports scientists have pointed out previously, speed is just one component of a perfect long jump.

The late Melvin Ramey, Ph.D., a biochemist and engineer working with USA Track and Field, explained the physics of the perfect long jump in a video for the National Science Foundation in 2012. “The human body becomes a projectile,” he explained.

For a human (or any projectile) to reach its maximum trajectory, it must maximize its projectile motion, which in turn can be broken down into its horizontal velocity (the speed at which it’s moving along the runway) and its vertical velocity (its speed at liftoff). But the distance that it travels is ultimately decided by its launch angle — the angle that, in this case, Echevarria jumps when he hits the board.

It might at first make sense that a 45° angle — halfway between jumping perfectly straight into the air (90°) and not jumping at all (0°) — would make for the farthest trajectory, but this isn’t the case because gravity acts on vertical velocity, pulling the jumper downward. According to Ramey, world-class jumps have a launch angle of 18° to 22°. The trick, he explains, is jumping in a way that allows the athlete to maintain velocity once leaving the board.

There are, of course, other forces to consider. Wind speed can give a jumper’s horizontal or vertical velocity a boost, depending on its direction. Air drag can also make a big difference, which is why long jumps in high-altitude regions, like the Alps, are judged differently than jumps closer to sea level, where the air is denser.

Haters could argue that Echevarria was helped out by the relatively thin air in Stockholm and the 2.1 meter per second backwind, but there’s no doubting his pure athleticism. The amount of strength and speed it requires to launch yourself into the air — even if you get the launch angle just right — and ability to absorb all the stress of jumping and landing is impressive indeed. In a video for the Wall Street Journal in 2017, Phil Cheetham, a senior sport technician for the U.S. Olympic Committee, explained that long jumpers usually reach a speed of 10 to 12 meters per second when coming down the runway, and at liftoff, they feel a force equivalent to 15 times their body weight.

Echevarria may not have set an official record with this jump, but he broke his own personal best outdoor record, which he set in Rome earlier this year with a jump of 27.76 feet (8.46 meters).

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Is Juan Miguel Echevarría on the road to eternity?

Rome, where all roads lead to and all athletic looks turned to last Thursday. Golden Gala Pietro Mennea brought together the best exponents of several events and saw the reissuing of long jump’s final duel of the World Indoor Championship between South African Luvo Manyonga and Cuban Juan Miguel Echevarría.

Their spikes were blessed, because despite Manyonga’s rematch and success (8.58m - annual leader), the 19-year-old long jumper from Camagüey continued to show signs of progression and talent and increased his personal mark to 8.53m in another duel of top tension.

In order to understand the magnitude of Juan Miguel Echevarria’s jumps, even his irrevent debut in the legs of the IAAF Diamond League, we will try to come closer to the best marks of the most exalted jumpers with that age:

The disciple of Daniel Osorio has five jumps over the respectable mark of 8.40m so far this season and the fact that he increases his marks in every competition, ignoring the pressure generated by the importance of the meeting and the competitive experience of his rivals make us think about a tremendous heir of Iván Pedroso. Juan Miguel has an enviable physique (1.86m and 80kg of weight)and two of his main virtues are his run-up and his explosiveness when taking off from the board, although he admits that he still has a lot to shape technically and psychologically.

Of course, among the best long jumpers in Cuba, according to the IAAF world ranking, only Iván (8.71m), Jaime Jefferson (8.53m), Ibrahim Camejo (8.46m), and Luis Felipe Meliz (8.43m), have surpassed 8.40m.

However, we were talking about the rising curve of Juan Miguel and his 8.53m at the age of 19. Among our best exponents, only Iván “The Terrible” emulates him with the same 8.53m, achieved on July 17, 1972, in Seville, Spain. Jefferson, for example, hadn’t reached 8 meters, but in 1983, aged 21, he cleared 8.03m here in Havana. Camejo is another who fell close, because he surpassed 8.24m at the Pan American stadium on February 23, 2002, aged 21 too. Closing the list is Meliz, owner of 8.23m, before turning 20.

Certainly, all of them, in addition to their marks, excelled in cadet and junior categories, except that some remained in the highest level with positive results when they crashed with the elite and others vanished to some extent.

Leaving home and approaching the best long jumpers of all time and their marks at that age, we see that world record holder Mike Powell exhibited 8.06m; Bob Beamon has no marks recorded with that age, but he cleared 8.30m in the 1967-1968 season in Detroit. Carl Lewis closes the northern trident: the remarkable ‘son of the wind’ regaled himself with an 8.62m-stretch, days before his 20th birthday. By the way, the most relevant mark among all the aforementioned humdingers.

To close the list, we have the trio made up by Armenian Robert Emmiyan

(8.13m); Panamanian Irving Saladino (barely 7.39m, so we could say that he was a long jumper of delayed progression); and South African Manyonga (8.19m).

Following this analysis we can see that only Carl Lewis and Iván Pedroso emulate or surpass Juan Miguel, taking into account the best jumps with the same age. Should the athlete from Agramonte, likewise Iván trained by Daniel Osorio, continues on that rising curve, what could we expect from him?

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

Cuban athletes excel at Metz Indoor Meeting

Cubans Roger Valentin Iribarne and Juan Miguel Echevarria had amazing performances in the 2018 Metz Indoor Meeting.

Iribarne won the men´s 60 meters event with time of 7.59 seconds and was escorted by Hungarian Balazs Baji (7.61), 2017 world bronze medalist, and British David King (7.63).

Meanwhile, Echevarria, who is only 19, ranked second in the men´s long jump with record of 8.34 meters in an event won by South African Luvo Manyonga, Olympic runner-up and world monarch, who could only beat the Cuban boy in his last attempt with record of 8.40 meters.

Greek Miltiadis Tentoglou (7.95), junior world runner-up, finished third.

After this performance, Manyonga and Echevarria appear one and second, in that order, in the world ranking so far the season, while Iribarne ranks ninth in his event.

Two other Cubans will compete next Tuesday in the Barcelona Meeting, in Spain, and they are Yoandys Lescay, in the men´s 400 meters, and Yorgelis Rodriguez (women´s high jump).

The latter, who is a specialist in heptathlon, is debuting this season in the high jump event and finished second last Thursday at the Madrid Meeting with 1.85 meters, her indoor personal best.

Rodriguez, Cuba´s national record holder in heptathlon, will attend the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships to be held in Birmingham, UK, where she should compete in pentathlon and high jump events.

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