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ON THE PULSE - THE LATEST INSIGHTS FROM THE OLYMPIC STUDIES CENTRE

the latest insight from
the olympic studies centre

JUNE 2016, NO. 33

DID YOU KNOW?

At the 1968 Games of the XIX Olympiad in Mexico people were excited about the long jump event, with rumours that Ralph Boston or Rob Beamon from the USA could jump over 28ft. Beamon almost didn’t make the final because of mistakes he made in the qualifying rounds. But with one chance left he succeeded.

On 18th October the three other competitors jumped first, all getting fouls, followed by Beamon. He landed awkwardly and didn't think he’d hit 28ft. But his teammate knew it was something special - he’d jumped further than the optical measuring device could reach. There was a 20-minute wait while Olympic officials found, and measured with, an old-fashioned steel tape. And then his result flashed up – Beamon had jumped 8.90m (29 ft 2 ⅜ in), smashing the previous record by 55cm. This record still stands today and has not been broken in almost 50 years. Might it be broken in Rio?

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