A shocking experiment in athletics – The long jump could be revolutionary

The athletics boss told about the radical experiment. The first reactions were widely critical.

The long jump may experience a significant change. Pictured is Saga Vanninen. Roni Lehti

A change is planned for athletics, after which the long jump as a sport would no longer be the same.

CEO of the international athletics federation World Athletics Jon Ridgeon told the Anything but Footy podcast that in the long jump, they are trying to replace the plank in the effort area.

Experimentation practically eliminates overstepping. The jump is measured from the point of effort, as long as the foot that is pushing hits the effort area.

At the moment, the jump has to start from the plank, but some of the jumps are rejected as overstepped, when the athletes wanting the last few centimeters step over the allowed limit. All jumps are currently measured from the same point.

The purpose is to test whether the effort range increases the interest and entertainment of the sport. The Independent -magazine, at the World Championships in Budapest, in one third of the jumps, the athlete did not get a result.

– It (experiment) means that all jumps matter. It adds to the drama of the race, Ridgeon said on the podcast, according to the Independent.

At the moment, in the long jump, the effort has to come from behind the wax in front of the board. Jussi Saarinen

The reform would also make the measurement table behind the landing area unnecessary.

– We are testing the reform this year in the right conditions with good athletes. If the experiment is not successful, we will not implement the reform. At the same time, we are working on making the jump length visible immediately, so that you don’t have to wait 20-30 seconds for the result to appear.

The legend scowled

The men’s long jump world record is Mike Powell’s 8.95 meters jumped in the World Cup finals in Tokyo in 1991. In the same, “all-time final” 8.91 jumped Carl Lewis commented on the planned reform in X.

– April Fools should be saved for April 1st, Lewis wrote.

Lewis thinks that the history books would not automatically become new with a possible reform.

– It wouldn’t change the results that much, but we would just see more measurements of bad jumps.

Carl Lewis won four Olympic gold medals in the long jump in his career. In the 1991 World Championship final, he missed out on silver. PDO

According to Lewis, the long jump is the most challenging sport in athletics.

– After the reform, long jump would no longer require the sport’s most difficult skill. Make basketball hoops bigger for free throws because so many miss.

Ridgeon, a track and field athlete, knew there would be opposition.

– If you have dedicated your whole life to hitting the plank and we suddenly replace the plank in the effort area, then I fully understand that there will be opposition to the matter at first, Ridgeon said.

Ridgeon stressed that no hasty decisions are made.

– This is not about next year, but we want to make sure that the sport serves its purpose for the next 150 years.

Difficult for viewers

The British long jump indoor EC gold medalist also took a stand on the matter Jazmin Sawyers. Sawyers posted a video on Instagram where he listed the pros and cons of the experiment. The jumper came to the conclusion that the reform would be bad for the grassroots, elite athletes and spectators alike.

Among other things, Sawyers considered how the exact determination of the point of effort would be successful at the grassroots level. In addition, Sawyers thinks that the drama would disappear from the top competitions, because the TV broadcast would no longer be able to show the graphic line of, for example, the length of the gold medal jump at that time.

In addition, according to the British athlete, the competitions would become more difficult for on-site spectators to follow.

Jazmin Sawyers says no to the experiment. PDO