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| Event type

Long Jump, Men

Date17 – 18 October 1968
StatusOlympic
LocationEstadio Olímpico Universitario, Ciudad de México
Participants35 from 22 countries

Going into 1968 the big three were Ralph Boston, 1960 gold medalist; Lynn Davies, 1964 gold medalist and 1966 European and Commonwealth champion; and Igor Ter-Ovanesyan, bronze medalist in 1960-64 and, with Boston, the current world record holder. But during the 1968 season a new talent had arisen, Bob Beamon, who was undefeated in pre-Olympic competition. The thin air of Ciudad de México was expected to produce big jumps, and it did, but nobody was prepared for what was to come. In the qualifying Boston set an Olympic record with 8.27 (27-1¾). The fourth jumper in the final was Beamon, and he had no marks to aim at as the first three jumpers had fouled. Beamon tore down the runway, hit the takeoff board perfectly, and took off, reaching a huge height. He came down hard and bounded out of the pit. Watching, Boston commented to Davis, “That’s over 28 feet,” but Davies felt that was not possible. Boston was actually conservative. The jump was over 29 feet – 29-2½ or 8.90, to be exact. The world record, held by Boston and Ter-O was 8.35, or 27-4¾. Thus Beamon had surpassed it by almost two feet. It was the largest single improvement in a track & field world record ever, and stunning athletic feats since that date are often labeled “Beamonesque.” The mark was so spectacular that a book was written about this single athletic moment, called The Perfect Jump, written by Dick Schapp in collaboration with Beamon.

The competition was over. Davies told Boston, “We can’t go on. We’d look silly.” Ter-Ovanesyan commented to Davies, “Compared to this jump, we are children.” After the jump, Beamon was not really sure what he had accomplished, not understanding the metric measurement. But when he was told it was 29-2½, he collapsed to his knees and became dizzy, having to be helped up by Boston and teammates Charlie Mays.

Eventually the long jump went on. Boston completed his medal set by winning a bronze. The great trivia question is the identity of the silver medalist – Klaus Beer of East Germany. Beamon took one more jump, 8.04 (26-4½), then passed his final four rounds, as they were not necessary. Lynn Davies tied for eighth after three jumps, and was mistakenly not advanced to the final three rounds of jumps. When officials realized what had happened, they offered him three more jumps. He refused, shattered by what he had seen. There have been naysayers since. The wind reading was 2.0 metres per second, the exact limit of legal, and some observers think the jump may have been wind-aided, but no protests to its legality as a record were ever made. The mark stood up for 23 years, finally bettered in 1991 by Mike Powell, who jumped 8.95 (29-4½) to win the 1991 World Championships. In 2008, it is still the second longest legal jump ever, and still the Olympic record, probably for the foreseeable future as well. Beamon never jumped anywhere near as well again. He never had to.

PosNrAthleteNOCQualifyingFinal
1254Bob BeamonUSA8.19 (2)8.90 (1)GoldWR
259Klaus BeerGDR7.77 (=9)8.19 (2)Silver
3256Ralph BostonUSA8.27 (1)8.16 (3)Bronze
4834Igor Ter-OvanesyanURS7.74 (12)8.12 (4)
5813Tõnu LepikURS7.91 (=4)8.09 (5)
6103Allen CrawleyAUS7.71 (14)8.02 (6)
7364Jack PaniFRA7.91 (=4)7.97 (7)
8682Andrzej StalmachPOL7.70 (15)7.94 (8)
9399Lynn DaviesGBR7.94 (3)7.94 (9)
10559Hiroomi YamadaJPN7.67 (17)7.93w (10)
11799Leonid BarkovskyURS7.70 (16)7.90 (11)
12399Reinhold BoschertFRG7.79 (7)7.89 (12)
13375Mike AheyGHA7.77w (8)7.71 (13)
14730Lars-Olof HöökSWE7.77 (=9)7.66 (14)
15525Victor BrooksJAM7.72 (13)7.51 (15)
16371Gérard UgoliniFRA7.75 (11)7.44 (16)
AC r2/2289Charles MaysUSA7.85 (6)– (AC)
18 r1/2339Pertti PousiFIN7.63 (18)
19 r1/2412Alan LerwillGBR7.62 (19)
20 r1/2714Laurent SarrSEN7.61 (20)
21 r1/2609Galdino FloresMEX7.59 (21)
22 r1/2541Naoki AbeJPN7.58 (22)
23 r1/2528Wellesley ClaytonJAM7.57 (23)
24 r1/2550Shinji OguraJPN7.57 (24)
25 r1/2135Philippe HousiauxBEL7.44 (25)
26 r1/2165Michel CharlandCAN7.35 (26)
27 r1/2712Clément SagnaSEN7.31 (27)
28 r1/2766Su Wen-HoTPE7.30 (28)
29 r1/2591Anthony ChongMAS7.29 (29)
30 r1/2131Jerry WisdomBAH6.99w (30)
31 r1/2762Chen Ming-ChiTPE6.71 (31)
32 r1/2633Don VélezNCA6.63 (32)
33 r1/2351Jean CochardFRA6.11 (33)
34 r1/2453Owen MeighanBIZ6.06 (34)
AC r1/2420Peter ReedGBR– (AC)
DNS110Phil MayAUS– (DNS)
DNS378Johnson AmoahGHA– (DNS)
DNS456Zoltán CziffraHUN– (DNS)
DNS462Henrik KalocsaiHUN– (DNS)
DNS481Labh SinghIND– (DNS)
DNS508Giuseppe GentileITA– (DNS)
DNS761Chen Chuan-ShowTPE– (DNS)

Qualifying Round (17 October 1968 — 10:30)

Top 12 and ties and all those reaching 7.65 metres advanced to the final.

PosAthleteNOCDistance2nd Best
1Ralph BostonUSA8.27QOR
2Bob BeamonUSA8.19Q
3Lynn DaviesGBR7.94Q
=4Jack PaniFRA7.91Q
=4Tõnu LepikURS7.91Q
6Charles MaysUSA7.85Q
7Reinhold BoschertFRG7.79Q
8Mike AheyGHA7.77w7.18Q
=9Lars-Olof HöökSWE7.77Q
=9Klaus BeerGDR7.77Q
11Gérard UgoliniFRA7.75Q
12Igor Ter-OvanesyanURS7.74Q
13Victor BrooksJAM7.72Q
14Allen CrawleyAUS7.71Q
15Andrzej StalmachPOL7.707.60Q
16Leonid BarkovskyURS7.707.25Q
17Hiroomi YamadaJPN7.67Q
18Pertti PousiFIN7.63
19Alan LerwillGBR7.62
20Laurent SarrSEN7.61
21Galdino FloresMEX7.59
22Naoki AbeJPN7.58
23Wellesley ClaytonJAM7.577.54
24Shinji OguraJPN7.577.28
25Philippe HousiauxBEL7.44
26Michel CharlandCAN7.35
27Clément SagnaSEN7.31
28Su Wen-HoTPE7.30
29Anthony ChongMAS7.29
30Jerry WisdomBAH6.99w
31Chen Ming-ChiTPE6.71
32Don VélezNCA6.63
33Jean CochardFRA6.11
34Owen MeighanBIZ6.06
ACPeter ReedGBRNM
DNSPhil MayAUS
DNSHenrik KalocsaiHUN
DNSGiuseppe GentileITA
DNSChen Chuan-ShowTPE
DNSJohnson AmoahGHA
DNSZoltán CziffraHUN
DNSLabh SinghIND

Qualifying Round, Group A (17 October 1968)

PosOrdAthleteNOCDistanceR1R2R3
116Ralph BostonUSA8.278.27
(0.0)
--OR
213Bob BeamonUSA8.19××8.19
(0.0)
=311Jack PaniFRA7.917.91
(0.0)
--
=318Tõnu LepikURS7.917.91
(0.0)
--
521Mike AheyGHA7.77w7.18
(-0.6)
7.77w
(+2.8)
-
620Victor BrooksJAM7.72×7.54
(0.0)
7.72
(0.0)
76Andrzej StalmachPOL7.707.60
(0.0)
7.48
(0.0)
7.70
(+2.0)
81Leonid BarkovskyURS7.707.25
(0.0)
7.70
(-2.0)
-
919Hiroomi YamadaJPN7.677.67
(-1.2)
--
109Alan LerwillGBR7.627.57
(0.0)
7.62
(0.0)
7.60
(+0.4)
1114Shinji OguraJPN7.577.57
(0.0)
×7.28
(0.0)
1215Philippe HousiauxBEL7.447.30
(0.0)
7.44
(0.0)
7.40
(0.0)
138Clément SagnaSEN7.317.26
(+0.4)
7.17
(0.0)
7.31
(0.0)
142Jerry WisdomBAH6.99w××6.99w
(+2.2)
153Chen Ming-ChiTPE6.716.62
(0.0)
×6.71
(0.0)
1612Owen MeighanBIZ6.06×6.06
(0.0)
6.06
(0.0)
AC10Peter ReedGBR×××NM
DNS7Phil MayAUS
DNS5Henrik KalocsaiHUN
DNS17Giuseppe GentileITA
DNS4Chen Chuan-ShowTPE

Qualifying Round, Group B (17 October 1968)

PosOrdAthleteNOCDistanceR1R2R3
118Lynn DaviesGBR7.94××
(0.0)
7.94
(0.0)
24Charles MaysUSA7.857.85
(+0.5)
--
37Reinhold BoschertFRG7.79×7.79
(-1.0)
-
=417Lars-Olof HöökSWE7.777.77
(0.0)
--
=421Klaus BeerGDR7.777.77
(0.0)
--
66Gérard UgoliniFRA7.757.75
(0.0)
--
720Igor Ter-OvanesyanURS7.747.74
(0.0)
--
814Allen CrawleyAUS7.71×7.71
(0.0)
-
93Pertti PousiFIN7.637.46
(0.0)
7.63
(0.0)
×
109Laurent SarrSEN7.617.27
(-1.0)
7.50
(+2.0)
7.61
(0.0)
111Galdino FloresMEX7.597.38
(-3.0)
7.59
(0.0)
×
1210Naoki AbeJPN7.587.44
(-2.2)
×7.58
(0.0)
1313Wellesley ClaytonJAM7.577.54
(0.0)
7.57
(0.0)
×
142Michel CharlandCAN7.357.15
(0.0)
7.35
(0.0)
7.35
(0.0)
1511Su Wen-HoTPE7.307.30
(-1.8)
×7.14
(+0.5)
1616Anthony ChongMAS7.297.09
(-0.8)
×7.29
(0.0)
178Don VélezNCA6.63×6.63
(0.0)
×
185Jean CochardFRA6.116.11
(+2.0)
-×
DNS12Johnson AmoahGHA
DNS19Zoltán CziffraHUN
DNS15Labh SinghIND

Final Round (18 October 1968 — 15:30)

PosOrdAthleteNOCDistanceR1R2R3R4R5R6
14Bob BeamonUSA8.908.90
(+2.0)
8.04
(0.0)
----WR
26Klaus BeerGDR8.197.97
(+2.0)
8.19
(0.0)
×7.62
(0.0)
××
317Ralph BostonUSA8.168.16
(+2.0)
8.05
(0.0)
7.91
(0.0)
××7.97
(-1.6)
413Igor Ter-OvanesyanURS8.128.12
(0.0)
8.09
(0.0)
××8.10
(0.0)
8.08
(-1.6)
510Tõnu LepikURS8.097.82
(-0.2)
8.09
(+2.0)
7.63
(+2.0)
7.36
(0.0)
7.84
(0.0)
7.75
(0.0)
69Allen CrawleyAUS8.02×8.01
(+1.4)
×7.80
(0.0)
×8.02
(0.0)
714Jack PaniFRA7.977.94
(0.0)
7.97
(0.0)
7.69
(0.0)
7.58
(+1.4)
7.61
(0.0)
×
815Andrzej StalmachPOL7.947.71
(0.0)
7.94
(0.0)
7.88
(0.0)
7.75
(+1.4)
7.75
(0.0)
7.84
(0.0)
912Lynn DaviesGBR7.946.43
(-1.2)
7.94
(0.0)
×1
101Hiroomi YamadaJPN7.93w×7.93w
(+4.2)
×
1116Leonid BarkovskyURS7.907.90
(0.0)
7.82
(+1.6)
×
123Reinhold BoschertFRG7.89×7.54
(0.0)
7.89
(0.0)
137Mike AheyGHA7.717.71
(+0.6)
7.57
(+0.6)
7.40
(+0.4)
145Lars-Olof HöökSWE7.667.66
(+2.0)
××
152Victor BrooksJAM7.51××7.51
(+0.4)
1611Gérard UgoliniFRA7.447.44
(0.0)
7.02
(0.0)
×
AC8Charles MaysUSA×××NM