Tag Archives: Long Jump

10-for-10: Katherine Kay Santos

Despite the peaks and troughs of the Philippine athletics scene, Filipino women have competed with distinction in the long jump for more than two decades. Since Elma Muros-Posadas’ maiden long jump win in the 1989 edition of the Southeast Asian Games, the Philippines had fallen short of the title only once. The last Filipino to win an Asian Games medal was the evergreen Muros-Posadas in 1994. Marestella Torres emphatic win at the 2009 Asian Championships was the most high-profile achievement of a Filipino track & field in recent memory.

Photo from PATAFA/Roselyn Hamero

Katherine Kay Santos is poised to become the next best Filipino long jumper. The Baguio-based Santos is currently fifth in the Women’s Long Jump All-Time List (compiled by Andrew Pirie). She has a personal best of 6.25m, which she set en route to winning the 2011 Southeast Asian Games bronze medal. Illustrious names like Torres (6.71m), Muros-Posadas (6.56m), Lerma Bulauitan-Gabito (6.56m), and Lydia De Vega-Mercado (6.27m) are all ahead of Kat in the all-time list.

Santos is gifted with both raw flat out speed, having won several medals in national-level competition, and good jumping technique. The 22-year old is on the brink of barging into the big leagues. Although it’s a tad too early to say that she’s Torres’ heir apparent, the statistics show that the University of Baguio student is the Philippines’ second-best long jumper. Kat is actually a protege of Bulauitan-Gabito, herself a SEA Games gold medalist and an Olympian.

As she gains experience from regular exposure in the regional athletics circuit, it will only be a matter of time before Kat Santos makes her mark.

1. How did you get started with athletics?

When I was in 5th grade I wanted… to be part of the athletes in our school. But eventually the coach in our school hesitated to choose me. I didn’t know why [she did that]. But in [the] 6th grade I [pushed] myself to join [the] try outs.  I proved that I can be one of them [the varsity athletes] and [the coach eventually] chose me.

2. What’s the most memorable moment of your track career?

Most memorable? Of course the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia. Maybe because it was my first time to compete in [the] SEA Games. [I had] mixed emotions.. (;  In my 1st attempt to jump I was really shaking. Suppeeeeer­rr. Hehe.

3. What’s your life-long dream?

To be an Olympian. ‘Diba? Sarap ng pakiramdam maging part man lang ng Olympics [It’s a great feeling to become part of the Olympics].

4. Name three other sports you’d love to do aside from athletics?

The 1st is synchronized swimming. I love watching it. [And also] sports climbing [and] sumo haha joke! The last is biking [cycling].

5. Who is your sporting idol?

My idol is DARYA KLISHINA. Ganda na [She’s beautiful], [a] model, and magaling pa [Darya excels] in our same event which is [the] long jump.

6. What do you when you are not on the track competing or training?

At home doing household chores, kulitan [playing] with my bunsong kapatid [youngest sibling] and my cousins na nakatira sa house namin [who live in our house], or sleep until noon… para makabawi sa pagod ng training [to recover from the exhaustion brought about by training].

7. What is your favorite pre-race pump-song?

Kahit ano lang [Anything]. Haha. Usually mga new ones na song [I usually listen to the new songs]… yung mga nauuso [the ones that are popular]! Gangnam Style. Haha lately yun!

8. Do you have a pre-competition ritual?

I just watch my diet mga [around] 2-3 weeks before the competition para magaan sa laro [so that I’ll feel light during the competition]. Kasi [Because] during preparation for such competition nagloload ako, so mabigat ako kapag sa [I bulk up in] training para makabuhat ng [to be able to lift the] target pounds pag nag weweigths training ako [in my training program].

9. Describe your dream vacation.

I want to be in a large and famous cruise ship and travel around the world. Astig diba? [Isn’t that cool?] (: Sarap mangarap, libre eh. [I love daydreaming. It’s free.]

10. Name three things you can’t live without.

Food! Water! Shelter! Siyempre [Of course, my] family ko. Daming money! And yung lifelong partner pag dumating na. I have no need for gadgets. (:

Isagani Peychär: An Austrian Athlete with Filipino Roots

Philippine sports, in particular, have benefited greatly from the Filipino diaspora. Filipino athletes with foreign roots like Cecil Mamiit, Miguel Molina, and the Younghusband brothers have competed with distinction for Flag and Country. The Philippine Basketball Association, despite a turbulent experience with the so-called Fil-Shams back in the nineties, has Filipino-Americans Filipino cagers as its biggest stars. Athletics has had its fair share of foreign-born stars in Ed Lasquete and Deborah Samson.

Track & field, being a fringe sport in the Philippines, has not seen the influx of high-profile stars as in the other, more lucrative sports. In light of the wide spectrum of Filipinos living across the globe, I’ve often wondered about those hidden talents.

I first learned about Isagani Peychär from an Austrian friend a few months back. Peychär is one of Austria’s top athletes in the long jump and the sprint hurdles. He was born to an Austrian father and a Filipina mother. The name “Isagani” is a uniquely Filipino name. It is actually a shortened version of the Tagalog phrase “Isang Masaganang Ani” (A Bountiful Harvest). [1]

The 31-year old has competed in high caliber major internationals like the European Indoor Championships, the European Cup (now the European Team Championships), [2] representing the landlocked Central European country. Isagani registered 7.35m in the long jump back in the 2005 Universiade in Izmir, good enough for 11th place in qualifying. He also finished 11th in qualifying at the European Indoor Championships in Madrid the same year, albeit with a more superior mark of 7.35m.

The Austrian-Filipino is the reigning Austrian indoor record holder in the long jump at 7.96m (2005, Munich). Isagani has an outdoor lifetime best of 7.94m (2005). Isagani is a well-rounded athlete who excels not just in the jumps, but in the sprints and hurdles as well. Peychär also holds the Austrian Youth 60m dash record (6.98s) and the Austrian Junior 110m Hurdles (0.99m) record (13.81s). [3] His personal bests are in the 60m, 100m, and the 110m Hurdles are respectable marks of 6.87s, 10.88s, and 14.52s, respectively.

Peychär is the same age – and only a few centimeters behind in terms of lifetime best – as Henry Dagmil, the Filipino long jump record holder at 7.99m.

The powerfully-built Isagani stands at just 1.70m, a height more common amongst Filipino males than in Austrians. As a sprint hurdler myself, I was particularly impressed with his hurdling. Smaller athletes are at a disadvantage in the sprint hurdles. The ideal hurdler usually stands between 1.78m (Allen Johnson) and 1.92 (Dayron Robles). To negotiate the sticks with Peychär’s Filipino stature requires much guts, desire, and speed – of which Isagani certainly was not lacking.

Running a 13-second sprint hurdle race is the mark of a world-class hurdler. I love the sprint hurdles so much that I get piqued everytime I’m reminded of the fact that no Filipino has gone below the 14-second barrier. If I’m not mistaken, Peychär is the only hurdler of Filipino descent who have achieved such a feat. Isagani is a product of the European system of athletics. Philippine track & field, in comparison, is grossly underdeveloped. This goes to show that with proper training and sufficient support, Filipino athletes could become world class again.

Additional Links:

Isagani’s Homepage

Isagani’s All-Athletics Profile

Isagani’s IAAF Biography

References:

  1. “What is the meaning of the name Isagani?.” (Answers, 2012). http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_meaning_of_the_name_Isagani. (16 September).
  2. “Erfolge.” (Homepage von Isagani Peychär, 2006). http://members.chello.at/isi-peychaer/ (16 September 2012).
  3. Ibid.

* Special thanks to Rosalie Tschann for bringing attention to Peychär’s achievements.

Track Beauty of the Week: Marije Smits

Marije Smits is this week’s Track Beauty!

In honor of the ongoing Paralympic Games in London, it is apt to select a talented, differently-abled athlete as Track Beauty.

Read: “The Paralympic Athletes” 

Smits is a long jumper and sprinter from the Netherlands. The 25-year old has extensive experience in international-level events. She made her debut in the Paralympics back in 2004.

Click this link to read the full article…

Barney Stinson… Olympic Long Jump Gold Medallist?

The resemblance between Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) and 2012 Olympic Long Jump Champion Greg Rutherford is… uncanny!

Click the screenshot to view the full image on 9gag:

Godspeed to Marestella Torres and Rene Herrera!

The Philippines will be sending two representatives to the Athletics competition in the London Olympics – long jumper Marestella Torres and steeplechaser Rene Herrera.

The 32-year old Torres is the national record holder for both the long jump (6.71m) and the triple jump (12.67m). She is a multiple Southeast Asian Games long jump  gold medalist. Upsetting the biggest names in regional long jumping, Marestella won the 2009 Asian Championships title in Guangzhou. The powerfully compact Torres is a veteran of numerous major international events, having competed in three editions of the World Championships  and three in the World Indoors. Her season’s best stands at 6.62m. Marestella is on her second Olympic team.

Read: “London Olympics Preview: The Long Jump”

Like Torres, Herrera is a multi-titled national athlete. He has won five Southeast Asian Games gold medals in the 3000m steeplechase, from 2003 to 2011. The 33-year old has made the final in two editions of the Asian Games, an event spiced with a multitude of African-born athletes. He has a personal best of 8:49.39. His best time in 2012 is 9:05.84, set while winning the National Championships in Dumaguete. Rene will make his Olympic debut in London.

Torres has what it takes to barge into the long jump final, but it’s going to be an uphill climb as she goes head-to-head against a multitude of 7-meter and near-7 meter jumpers. The rainy and soggy London weather might just level the playing field a bit.

The Philippines’ hopes in Olympic Athletics might not be at par with the world’s best, but this won’t keep me from cheering my compatriots. Godspeed to Marestella Torres and Rene Herrera!

Sources:

All-Athletics

IAAF

Godspeed, Darya!

Russia and the former Soviet Union has a storied history in women’s long jumping. The 7.52m world record of Galina Chistayakova Галина Чистякова still stands. Tatyana Kotova Татьяна Котова, and Tatyana Lebedeva Татьяна Лебедева occupy prominent positions in the all-time list. Out of the nine Olympic medals at stake the last three Olympic Games, Russian women had won a staggering five. The troika of  Lebedeva, Irina Meleshina, and Kotova even made a clean sweep of the podium at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Click here to read the rest of the article…

The Versatile Rosolova

I first learned about Denisa Rosolova while watching last year’s European Indoor Championships. It was remarkable how a former champion heptathlete and world class long jumper shifted to the quarter mile and strike gold! I admired her athletic talent and versatility. More importantly, Rosolova has the audacity to try something unorthodox. For this, she has reaped dividends.

Read more…

“London Olympics Preview: The Long Jump” by Joboy Quintos

The long jump is one of the most exciting discipline in athletics. The London Olympics will feature a good mix of upcoming and current athletes, going head-to-head for a memorable competition.

Photo from Nigel Chadwick

Women’s Long Jump

Brittney Reese (7.12m SB outdoors, 7.23m SB indoors) has dominated the women’s long jumping scene the past few years. Reese made her international debut at the Osaka World Championships in 2007, where she placed eighth in the final, as the Russian troika of Tatyana Lebedeva (Татьяна Лебедева), Lyudmila Kolchanova (Людмила Колчанова), and Tatyana Kotova (Татьяна Котова) made a clean sweep of the medals. Since then, the unorthodox former basketball player had won two World titles (2009 and 2011) and two World indoor crowns (2010 and 2012).

Reese at the 2010 World Indoor Championships. (Photo from Erik van Leeuwen)

Although the American has shown chinks in her armor in some long jump competitions, Reese has displayed nerves of steel in the championships that count the most. Only an Olympic medal eludes her collection. The rest of the long jump field will be hard-pressed to top a motivated, healthy and techinically-proficient Brittney Reese.

This is hard for me to say, considering that I’m a big fan of Darya Klishina Дарья Клишина: The American is poised to win the Olympic long jump title.

But then again, Reese had shown erratic jumping in the past. She could be beaten in a major championship. The in-form Russian, Olga Kucherenko Ольга Кучеренко (7.03m SB outdoors, 6.91m SB indoors); the defending Olympic champion, Maurren Higa Maggi (6.85m SB); and the prolific Darya, are at the vanguard of Reese’s challengers.

   

Klishina (L), Kucherenko (C), and Maggi (R). (Photos from Erik van Leeuwen, sport-vlg.ru, and Agência Brazil/Janine Moraes)

Kucherenko, who has a personal best of 7.13m from 2010 and the silver medalist from Daegu, has displayed sterling form this year. Reese, Anna Nazarova (7.11m), Chelsea Hayes (7.10m), Nastassia Mironchyk – Ivanova (7.08m), Kucherenko, Janay DeLoach and Veronika Shutkova have all gone beyond 7 meters this season. Brazil’s Maggi has experienced a resurgence the past two years. A 7.26m jumper at her best, The 36-year old Maggi had gone tantalizingly close to 7 meters in 2011.

Note: Klishina and Kucherenko did not make the Russian Olympic Team.

These athletes are in the running for a spot on the podium.

Sostene Moguenara (6.88m SB outdoors) and Shara Proctor (6.84m SB outdoors, 6.89 SB/PB indoors) have also displayed excellent form in 2012.

Although slowed down by an ankle injury last season, the 21-year old Klishina has the makings of a future champion. The 2011 European Indoor champion has an outdoor personal best of 7.05m from 2010. Darya is the second-best junior long jumper of all-time, behind the great Heike Drechsler. A healthy Klishina could foil Reese’s Olympic dreams.

But then again, Klishina and Kucherenko were not selected to the Russian Olympic Team, as they finished below the top three at their Olympic Trials. The Russian squad possess such depth that they can make do without a talented junior and an in-form athlete.

A total of eight jumpers have gone beyond 7 meters this season. Reese is my top choice for Olympic gold, with Nazarova and Mironcyk-Ivanova for silver and bronze, respectively.

Top Three Predictions

Gold: Brittney Reese

Silver: Darya Klishina Anna Nazarova

Bronze:  Olga Kucherenko Nastassia Mironchyk – Ivanova

Men’s Long Jump

If Dwight Phillips (8.74m PB), the 2004 Athens Olympic Champion and four-time World champion, did not figure in a car accident last May, he’ll be the favorite for the Olympic title. But then again, misfortune had plagued the long jump legend’s 2012 preparations.

C’mon Dwight! Time to go on Wolverine mode! (Photo from Erik van Leeuwen)

Hence, the field is wide open for a flurry of names to rise to the occasion. The farthest jump this season is just a relatively humble 8.35m by the host country’s Greg Rutherford and Russian junior Sergey Morgunov, who rewrote the World junior record. Sebastian Bayer and Marquise Goodwin have respective season’s bests of 8.34m and 8.33m. A mere four centimeters separate the next six athletes in the 2012 rankings: Godfrey Khotso Mokoena (8.29m A), Mitchell Watt (8.28m), Henry Frayne (8.27m), Christian Reif (8.26m), Will Claye (8.25m), Jinzhe Li (8.25m), and Aleksandr Menkov Александр Меньков (8.24m.

The newly-crowned World Indoor champion, Mauro Vinicius da Silva of Brazil, has a season’s best of 8.10m.

 

Mokoena (L) and Watt (R). (Photos from Petritap and Erik van Leeuwen)

The contenders, save for the 34-year old Phillips, are a young bunch. The oldest is the 27-year old Reif, the 2010 European Champion. Will Claye, attempting the triple/long jump double is the youngest at 21-years old.

If the clock runs out for the recuperating Phillips, the battle for long jump gold will be two-pronged. Mokoena, the 2008 Olympic silver medallist, has the most considerable experience and the farthest lifetime best at 8.50m. Reif (8.47m PB) and Watt (8.45m PB) round up the next two.

   

Claye (L), Rutherford (C), and Reif (R). (Photos from Erik van Leeuwen and Eckhard Pecher/Arcimboldo)

Bayer has an indoor personal best of 8.71m from 2009. Although he had won the 2012 European title with his 8.34m leap, the European indoor record holder has been unable to replicate such high-quality jumping in major championships. Should Bayer get his act together, he could finally live up to his huge potential. Then there’s the young Russian Morgunov, who leaped to new World Junior Record of 8.35m. Should he be able to display the same level of consistency, he could figure in the top three.

Phillips is my sentimental favorite to win the long jump gold. Had he not been injured, he would have been a strong contender for the top spot.

Mokoena is the next best choice for top honors because of his edge in championship experience. The exuberant Claye could figure in a tight battle  bronze (or even silver). Rutherford, who has jumped personal bests of 8.35m twice this year, is another contender for a spot on the podium. The in-form Briton might just pull-off a Jai Taurima, albeit with none of the “cigarettes, pizza, and late nights.”

These jumpers certainly are capable of leaping beyond the humble season’s best of 8.35m. The prospects for the Men’s Long Jump competition are indeed exciting due to its unpredictability.

Top Three Predictions

Gold: Mitchell Watt/Godfrey Khotso Mokoena

Silver: Greg Rutherford/Sebastian Bayer

Bronze:  Will Claye/Christian Reif

Article by Joboy Quintos

Sources:

2008 Beijing Olympics Results

2011 World Championships Results

2009 World Championships Results

2007 World Championships Results

2012 World Indoor Championships Results

2010 World Indoor Championships Results

IAAF Top List – 2012 Men’s Long Jump

IAAF Top List – 2012 Women’s Long Jump

Henry Dagmil takes the 10-for-10 Quiz

Henry Dagmil first came to national prominence at the 2004 Philippine National Open. The Mapua Institute of Technology alumnus, then 22 years old, eclipsed the long-standing record of 1936 Berlin Olympian Nino Ramirez. Dagmil flew to a distance of 7.83m in the long jump, beating the 68-year old record by 18 centimeters.

Dagmil at the 2012 Philippine National Games. (Photo by Ed Karell Gamboa/Pinoymiler/Moriel Carreon)

Since that definitive moment, Dagmil has been the Philippines top male long jumper, complementing Marestella Torres’ sterling record in the women’s event. He has competed at the world’s highest stage, representing the country at the Berlin and Daegu World Championships and at the Beijing Olympics.

Click here to view Henry’s photos with Darya Klishina

Dagmil has amassed an impressive collection of regional-level medals. In an international career spanning almost one decade, the Filipino champion had won two Southeast Asian Games long jump titles (2005, 2007), on top of silver (2011) and bronze (2009) medals. In front of hometown fans at the 2005 Manila SEA Games, Dagmil teamed up with the 100m/200m national record holder Ralph Soguilon, Arnold Villarube and Albert Salcedo, to win a 4x100m relay silver, setting a new national mark in the process.

Click here to read more articles about Henry Dagmil on Pinoymiler

Video from Jad Adrian

The two-time SEA Games long jump champion has a lifetime’s best of 7.99m from 2008.  However, the eight meter barrier – the mark of a truly world-class long jumper – has continued to elude Dagmil by the smallest of margins. Now 31-years old, Dagmil has until the 8th of July to go beyond the 8.10m Olympic “B” standard – and secure a ticket to London.

Dagmil has the knack for the unexpected. Prior to his record-breaking feat in 2004, he was actually left out of the national team because of injury. “When others might give up he let that catalyst make him stronger,” said Andrew Pirie, the Ernie Baron of Philippine athletics and Dagmil’s close friend.   “[Dagmil] came back in 2004 to wipe out the 68 year old national record in the long jump.”

1.) How did you get started with athletics?

[In] Grade4, I started [competing in the] 50m and long jump. I was 10 years old.

2.) What’s the most memorable moment of your athletics career?

The most memorable is [when] I  represented [the Philippines at the] Olympic Games.

3.) What is your life long dream?

To be successful in life, jump [beyond the] eight-meter barrier. And to be a national coach [who can] produce a world class athlete.

4.) Let’s lighten up a bit! What would you rather wear and why? Short shorts or tights?

I like Mizuno. [It looks] good on me. I prefer tights.

5.) What is your favorite sports movie?

Sports movie? Yung mga nagbibigay inpirasyon. Kahit anong movie basta maluluha ako. hehehe [I like inspiring movies. Any kind of film that makes me cry].

6.) What’s the best pump-up song of all-time?

Kahit anong song basta inspiring [Any song. As long as it’s inspiring].

7.) If you could spend the rest of your days at any place in the world, which place would you choose?

I’ll spend my time with [my] wife and my kids, because I’ve spent [half of my life] on my athletic career.

8.) What do you do in your free time?

Rest, sleep, watch a movie, call my wife [and] my son on the phone, [and surfing the] net.

9.) Name three things you just can’t live without:

Money, phone, and laptop.

10.) What advice would you give to the young athletes of today?

I want them [to] dream. Ask the Lord’s [help], to be patient and willing to sacrifice [a] normal life to become an Olympian.  [Not to] be a fool even [if] you [achieve the dream of being an] Olympian.

Additional Links:

IAAF biography

All-Athletics profile

Yuliya Pidluzhnaya Answers the 10-for-10 Quiz

The top-notch Russian long jumper, Yuliya Pidluzhnaya Юлия Витальевна Пидлужная, answers the 10-for-10 quiz!

The Russians, since the days of the former Soviet Union, have always produced top caliber jumpers. Yuliya is amongst the new generation of the Russian jumping tradition. The graceful athlete has personal bests of 6.84m outdoors and 6.75m indoors.

Read: “Track Beauty of the Week: Yuliya Pidluzhnaya Юлия Витальевна Пидлужная”

Pidluzhnaya at European Indoors (Photo from Yuliya)

She has reached the podium of several major international events, most notably at the fiercely fought 2011 European Indoor Championships long jump final, where she leaped to 6.75m and won the bronze medal behind compatriot Darya Klishina and Portugal’s Naide Gomes. At the 2011 World University Games in Shenzen, Yuliya’s best mark of 6.56m brought home the silver medal.

From 2009 to 2010, Yuliya improved her jumping by an impressive 0.33m. Pidluzhnaya has been ranked as a top tier long jumper ever since.

1.) How did you get started with athletics?

[I] started to be engaged with school [-based athletics at] age 14 years.

2.) What’s the most memorable moment of your athletics career?

I remember [very well] the first time [I competed at a major international championship] of the world. [The experience] [have] not [been] forgotten.

Yuliya with her Universiade silver (Photo from vestnik-lesnoy.ru)

3.) What is your life long dream?

In life I dream of the family.

4.) Let’s lighten up a bit! What’s your favorite outfit?

Most of all I like to wear dresses since they I emphasize character of the girl.

5.) What is your favorite sports movie?

The favorite sports film isn’t present. [I don’t have a favorite]

6.) What’s the best pump-up song of all-time?

I listen to various music, everything depends with all the heart.

7.) If you could spend the rest of your days at any place in the world, which would you choose?

I would like to be on the island of Cyprus.

8.) What do you do in your free time?

[I don’t have] enough free time, but I like  to be photographed and go [to a trip] by the car.

Yuliya has both amazing leaping ability and great fashion sense. (Photo from Yuliya)

9.) Name three things you just can’t live without:

High heels, the car, sports shoes.

10.) What advice would you give to the young athletes of today?

To work and be able to wait, love the business.

Istanbul 2012: Top Seven Performances

Amongst the major international athletics championships, the World Indoors is the most underrated. Big name stars like Usain Bolt usually opt out of the biennial meet, especially in crucial Olympic years. Indoor athletics has a far smaller reach than its outdoor counterpart, with the smaller venues usually found in the frigid countries of the northern hemisphere.

Photo from Wikipedia

Nevertheless, it has that obscure charm. When I first saw the start lists of some events, I thought that the rest of the non-European, non-American world was underrepresented. I thought wrong. As soon as the 60m dash heats came out, a cacophony of athletes from small countries – from Mongolia in the Gobi desert to Fiji in the Pacific – competed amongst their more illustrious counterparts.

Even if I had to rely on live streaming links and my less-than-perfect internet connection to watch the World Indoors, I must say that I had a grand time. Despite the absence of most of the track & field titans, the festivities were certainly not devoid of memorable athletics moments. The three-day event has seen former World Indoor champions like Elena Isinbayeva Елена Гаджиевна Исинбаева, Justin Gatlin, and Valerie Adams re-emerge on the big stage, whilst playing host to bevy of promising talent.

One Gold, Three Silvers (Photo from Zimbio/Getty Images)

The women high jumpers deserve special mention too, as the troika of Antonietta Di Martino, Anna Chicherova Анна Владимировна Чичерова, and Ebba Jungmark shared a the second spot on the podium, behind the champion, the come-backing Chaunté Lowe (1.98m). The three athletes had equally identical sheets, with each clearing 1.95m.

The United States topped the overall standings with a staggering 18 medals, 10 of which were gold. Great Britain had 9, while African distance powerhouses Ethiopia and Kenya won 5 and 4, respectively.

The following list enumerates my favorite performances from Istanbul (aside from the 60m hurdles, of course!):

Read more of this post

Track Beauty of the Week: Tianna Madison

Tianna Madison is this week’s track beauty!

As a 19-year old, the American long jumper won the 2005 World Championships long jump crown, with a leap of 6.89m – a personal best. Since that glorious moment in Helsinki, however, Madison has failed to replicate her winning form. The subsequent years proved troublesome.

   

Photos from runblogrun.com and blog.cleveland.com 

Despite winning the 2006 World Indoor Championships silver medal, her outdoor performances deteriorated. She failed to defend her world title in Osaka, finishing tenth in the final with a modest 6.47m best mark. Since 2009, Madison has not gone beyond 6.50m.

As they say, when God closes a door, he opens a window. The 2012 indoor season has seen Madison shave off a massive 0.30s off her 60m time, running a world leading 7.02s in February. The resurgent American is a favorite to win the 60m dash title in Istanbul. Pitted against the experienced Veronica Campbell-Brown, the event has the makings of a classic.

After everything Madison has been through, a great comeback story is in the offing. If she triumphs, Madison might just be the next best sprinter-jumper athlete since Carl Lewis.

Darya’s Back!

There’s no better way to augur the 2012 athletics season than to see Darya Klishina Дарья Клишина compete!

With our favorite long jumper still recovering from a surgically-repaired ankle, Klishina still managed to top the Aviva International Match held in Glasgow a week back. The Russian notched modest marks of 6.66m and a season’s best of 6.75m, as she fouled the rest of her four attempts.

Britain’s Shara Proctor (6.59m) and the Bahamas’ Bianca Stuart (6.38m) finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

 

Track Beauty of the Week: Funmi Jimoh

Funmi Jimoh is this week’s Track Beauty!

The long jumper belongs to the long list of top calibre American jumpers. Although she has yet to make her mark at the world stage, her career marks speaks volumes about her potential. With personal best of 6.96m from 2009, Jimoh certainly has the talent to land that elusive podium spot.

Jimoh competing in Hengelo, Netherlands (Photo from Wikipedia)

The American had a breakout year in 2008, jumping a then personal best of 6.91m in Houston – beating her erstwhile best mark by a massive 0.46m. In the same year, she placed third at the cutthroat U.S. Olympic Trials. She fell short in Olympic qualifying, however, settling for a below par 6.29m to finish 12th in her group.

Jimoh made her first major championship final in Daegu. She notched a 6.68m in qualifying, good enough for sixth place overall. In the final, however, the American failed to make a legal mark in an event won by compatriot, Brittney Reese.

Expect the talented Jimoh to again figure amongst the contenders for the London 2012 crown. With her tremendous talent, breaking the seven meter barrier – and winning a major championship medal – is certainly within grasp.

Additional links:

Funmi’s website

USATF profile

Track Beauty of the Week: Galina Chistyakova Галина Валентиновна Чистякова

Galina Chistyakova Галина Валентиновна Чистякова is this week’s track beauty!

The now retired long jumper from the former Soviet Union owns one of the most impressive records in athletics. Chistyakova leaped to a massive 7.52m in 1988 to set the world leading mark. Amongst the best women long jumpers in history, only Jackie Joyner-Kersee (7.49m) and Heike Dreschler (7.48m) had gone near Chistyakova.

Going over her IAAF biography brings forth gasps of disbelief at her stellar performances. The bio goes as far back as 1984. Until 1990, the Russian had leaped well beyond 7.00m every single year. Her “worst” season during this time span was in 1987, when she managed a relatively humble 7.27m.

Game face on! (Photo from Life)

To put things into perspective, the 2011 world leader and World Champion, Brittney Reese, has a best leap of 7.19m.

Chistyakova oozed with so much talent that she even managed to notch a rare Long Jump-Triple Jump double at the 1990 European Indoor Championships (she has a PB of 14.76m in the triple jump).

Photo from fanbase.com

When the Soviet Union broke up in the early 1990’s, Chistyakova shifted allegiance to Slovakia. However, she failed to replicate her old form, as a knee injury kept her pretty much grounded for the remainder of her career.

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