Monday, August 22, 2011

World Championships Preview – Long Jump

While I’m discussing speed, and since I have yet to touch on the field, I think the long jump will make a good speed to field transition. A crew of solid jumpers in both the men’s and women’s fields should give us quite a bit of excitement in Daegu.


Men’s Long Jump

World Record 8.95 / 29’ 4.5” Mike Powell USA
Meet Record 8.95 / 29’ 4.5” Mike Powell USA
2009 Gold 8.54 / 28’ 0.25” Dwight Phillips USA


2011 Best

  8.54 / 28’ 0.25” Mitchell Watt AUS
  8.40 / 27’ 6.75” Ngoni Makusha ZIM
  8.40 / 27’ 6.75” Irving Saladino PAN
  8.37 / 27’ 5.5” Yahya Berrabah MAR
  8.35 / 27’ 4.75 Chris Tomlinson GBR
  8.34 / 27’ 4.5” Marcos Chuva POR
  8.29 / 27’ 2.5” Will Claye USA


This is an interesting year for the long jump with defending champion Dwight Phillips barely on the radar this at 8.07/26’ 5.75” If it were almost any other athlete I would say he doesn’t make the cut for the final, but Phillips is a veterans veteran and has the potential to at least make the cut. He’s come up big too many times – gold medalist in Berlin, Helsinki, Athens and Paris – to simply fade away with a whimper.

His path to a repeat however will have to go through Australia’s Mitchell Watt, who has easily been the top long jumper this season. He jumped well over 27 feet during the Australian season and won the Australian title at 8.44/27’ 8.25 in April. He repeated that performance in a win in Shanghai in May, won in Stockholm with his world leader, then jumped 8.45/27’ 8.75 to win in London. If anyone is on a roll entering Korea it’s Watt.

His biggest threat for gold could be another super vet in the form of Irving Saladino – defending Olympic champions and World champion in Osaka. Saladino is #3 on the world list and managed wins in Hengelo and Paris – though only 3rd in Stockholm and 4th London.  Like Phillips however, Saladino has proven to be a big meet performer in the past. So the question for both he and Phillips is just how much age has taken out of their legs.

Veteran Chris Tomlinson is another who could threaten. No major wins on his seasonal resume, but he heads to Daegu having placed second in Paris, Barcelona & London – and with a new PR 8.35/27’4.75”. More importantly he has been right at or over 27 feet since the end of June.

The most intriguing of all the competitors is Ngoni Makusha (ZIM). Number two on the yearly list, his big jump came as part of a LJ/100 double where he also ran 9.89! He hasn’t competed in the long jump since his NCAA victory. He also has previous international experience having placed 4th in Beijing. With his speed he must be taken as a serious threat. The next Carl Lewis?

There are a lot of questions here. Has Phillips been able to find his form while preparing this Summer? Will Saladino step it up one more time? Is Tomlinson’s consistency a sign that a break through is near? And will Makusha continue his fairy tale season with another blast in Daegu. The biggest question however, is can anyone stop Watt from becoming the first Aussie to win this event? It doesn’t look like it.

Gold Mitchell Watt AUS 8.60 / 28’ 2.75”
Silver Irving Saladino PAN 8.40 / 27’ 6.75”
Bronze Ngoni Makusha ZIM 8.35 / 27’ 4.75”
Just Missed Dwight Phillips USA 8.30 / 27’ 2.75”




Women’s Long Jump

World Record 7.52 / 24’ 8.25” Galina Chistyakova RUS
Meet Record 7.36 / 24’ 1.75” Jackie Joyner Kersee USA
2009 Gold 7.10 / 23’ 3.5” Brittney Reese USA


2011 Best

  7.19 / 23’ 7.25” Brittney Reese USA
  7.05 / 23’ 1.75” Darya Klishina RUS
  7.01 / 23’ 0” Olga Zaytseva RUS
  6.97 / 22’ 10.5” Janay DeLoach USA
  6.95 / 22’ 9.75” Veranika Shutkova BLR
  6.89 / 22’ 7.25” Maurren Higa Maggi BRA
  6.89 / 22’ 7.25” Olga Balayeva RUS

Defending champion Brittney Reese (USA) enters Daegu as the world leader and winner of DL competitions in Rome Lausanne and Monaco; second place finishes in Birmingham & Baie Mahault; and a 3rd in New York.

Number two on the yearly list, and Reese’s closest pursuer this season is European Junior champion Darya Klishina (RUS) who has finished just behind Reese in Lausanne, Monaco & Birmingham.

The woman who beat them both in Birmingham is Janay DeLoach (USA), but that has been her only victory in a season that, since her 2nd place at Nationals, has seen her 5th in Lausanne, 4th in Uden, 7th in Monaco and 3rd in Budapest.

The rest of the women near the top of the list have very mixed schedules and have competed in several off the grid competitions. Though I should take note that Russian Zaytseva PR’d at 23’ 0” at Russian nationals – one of only two competitions heading into Daegu.

That aside it really looks like a two woman competition for the gold medal. So barring an athlete coming out of the woodwork, this one seems to be fairly scripted:

Gold Brittney Reese USA 7.15 / 23’ 5.5”
Silver Darya Klishina RUS 7.02 / 23’ 0.5”
Bronze Olga Zaytzeva RUS 7.00 / 22’ 11.75”
Just Missed Maurren Higa Maggi BRA 6.90 / 22’ 7.75”


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