In the Long Jump, Greece's Miltiadis Tentoglou Snatches Gold From Cubans in Final Jump , by Matt Wisner

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Earlier in the meet, 2012 gold and 2016 Silver (plus Euro Champ, Commonwealth Champ and WC) Greg Rutherford gently reminded Stuart Weir to make sure that he covered the LJ.

LJ .jpgMiltiadis Tentoglou, 2019 European Indoor Champs, LJ, photo by European Athletics

In Long Jump, Greece's Miltiadis Tentoglou Snatches Gold From Cubans in Final Jump

By Matt Wisner

8/6/2021

Miltiadis Tentoglou was in third place heading into his final attempt in the men's long jump in Tokyo. He had jumped 8.15 meters on his fifth jump, appearing that he could secure bronze in the event on Sunday, Aug. 5.

The Cuban Juan Miguel Echevarria had jumped 8.41 meters on his third jump, and fellow Cuban Maykel Masso had jumped 8.21 meters on his first jump. It seemed like the duo of Echevarria and Masso had established themselves in first and second and were poised to bring home gold and silver for Cuba.

But on his final jump, Tentoglou launched himself to an 8.41m, tying Echevarria's best jump.

Before knowing the length of the jump definitively, Tentoglou threw his arms out wide in celebration. He briefly raised a single finger, declaring that he thought himself to be the winner. But his finger only remained in the air for a moment. He quickly reneged his celebration, uncertain of whether he would actually be declared victorious.

Echevarria had one jump remaining--an opportunity to respond to Tentoglou. He began his buildup down the runway but began to limp. Echevarria lowered both of his fists to the board and banged the track, furious with himself.

Echevarria was quickly embraced by his teammate Masso. They earned silver and bronze medals respectively.

"It was very, very painful," Echevarria told the media. "I couldn't do what I usually do."

Tentoglou won the gold medal on countback. That means that his second farthest jump (8.15 meters on the fifth attempt) was farther than Echevarria's second farthest jump (8.09 meters on the first attempt).

Tentoglou won Greece's first-ever medal in the long jump. He is 23 years old, and this was his first Olympics.

Javaughn Harrison was the lone American in the final. He jumped 8.15 meters on his fifth attempt, good enough for fifth place.

The long jump in Tokyo was dramatic. There were multiple lead changes. There were surprises, instances of companionship, heartbreak, and ire. I think the long jump could be an incredibly popular event if NBC broadcasted the entirety of the competition. What was included in the broadcast was strong though; there were digital lines signifying the leader, the world leader, and the Olympic Record so that the viewers could have a reference to understand the quality of each jump.



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