The long jump debacle....some thoughts

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Wow! How does Wold Athletics do this?

I have not seen one person who thought the long jump changes did anythng to enhance the event. And no coverage ? Stuart Weir did a nice job on this column, giving us a view that, the LJ might need change, but this is not the way to go!

And one iconic viewer noted:

"The New Long Jump format is just stupid!"

Sam (1).jpgRuswahl Samaai, Bauhaus Galan 2020, photo by Chris Cooper

The long jump

Dear Seb Coe

Dear Diamond League Management

I'm sure there's someone somewhere who thought that the new format for the long jump was a good idea. It's just that I haven't found them yet!

The new format is five jumps for everyone and then the top three get one jump each (so to speak in a new competition) to decide first, second and third. To give you a concrete example the situation after five rounds of the men's long jump was:

1 Thobias Montler 8:13

2 Ruswahl Samaai 8:07

3 Kristian Pulli 8:02

In the deciding round Samaai jumped 8:09, Montler 8:06 and Pulli fouled. The result is that Samaai is the winner. Montler who jumped 4 cm further is second.

Samaai was clearly embarrassed to have been awarded the win and spoke with great integrity afterwards: "I won the competition based on a format that's not fair towards the guy with the furthest distance. Our event is simple. Whoever jumps the furthest during the competition wins the competition. But not this time around. 8,13m gets you second place and 8,09m wins the competition. I saw the disappointment in Thobias Montler's eyes after our last attempts. He shook his head and I could see it. THIS IS NOT FAIR! It doesn't bring excitement. It only brings disappointment. Can we please stop fixing things that's not broken? @WorldAthletics

Swedish athlete, Khaddi Sagnia also shared her views: "I don't like it because I feel like it's getting unfair because especially outdoors with the different winds so like one jumper can have plus meanwhile the other jumpers can have minus, and I feel like that is unfair".

The reaction on twitter was equally strong.

Kimberly Williams, OLY. "The furthest jump on the day don't get the win any more. A Complete Joke".

Jasmine Todd: "I could never be satisfied with that win the type of competitor I am. Cause I know I wasn't the best that day. I'd be handing my flowers to the true winner . This is making a complete joke of my event and it's disrespectful to the work we put in on that day. They're making it hard for a career in the jumps. Would sponsors go off your mark or placement at meets? This format doesn't even align with world rankings and drastically messes up world rankings since it's based off placement at these meets, not only marks.

Greg Rutherford joined in the debate: "I'm 100% behind reinvention of the sport of athletics, but this change to the jumps is no good. Yet again athletes were not spoken to. No genuine thought, just throw a grenade in and hope for the best. I'm glad I'm retired and feel so sorry for those trying to forge a career".

Jazmin Sawyers noted that one thing did not change - the TV coverage ignored the jumps: "So not only have they messed with the jumps, we also didn't get to see the competition unfold at all".

This was also noted by the newly formed, @TheAthleticsAssociation; ""A by-product of the #FinalThree format is that the World Feed has not shown a single live jump (men or women) outside of the 'final'. Instead they put them all together into one package, first showing the ONE jump that got them to the 'final', and then showing the 'final'".

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