Carl Lewis's 30 foot long jump

Maybe that will change over the next few years with Mitchell Watt. At 21-22 he seems to have the goods. Laying down jump after jump in the 40s and now jumping into the 50s. If last nights opening bomb around 8.70 is to go by we may just see the 80s, and 90s being approached again within a few years.

What a jump it was!


(at the 2:00 mark)

Gotta love judges…

He may have gone at or near 30 many times in his career, but the way it’s measured is not suited for actual jump distance. It’s measured to the board.

Carl had a deliberate second to last stride where he stepped to the side – because of a hamstring injury that would chronically re-appear if he went straight. This caused him to go crooked, or diagonal, on the last two strides, which caused the same in his flight more than most. If you watch his landings he always landed way over to the side of the pit. If you measure the actual diagonal path he jumped, it would be usually a foot further than what is measured. I don’t know the exact math – triangle theorum – or pathagreum? theorum that you would use to calculate it, but a 28’ 10" jump where you project yourself at a 10 to 15 degree or so angle to the side would certainly add near a foot if not more.

It was the compromise he had to make to stay healthy. In jav throwingor shot/disc and hammer, they measure on an arc, but long jump no

  1. Carl was taking off from the right side of the board and was landing slightly to the right in the pit
  2. IAAF Rule Landing Area for the Long Jump- min 2.75m=9’ I have never seen wider than 3m=9’8’’. (lets say it was 3m)
  3. If Carl did take off 15 degrees to his right with the jump 8’10’’=8.79m and they measured from the take off place he would have jumped one foot further (31cm), you are right about that only there is small problem if Carl took of 15degrees to his right he would land around 1.20m=2’11’’ outside the landing area in another words he would landed on the grass!!
    To make this jump possible with 15degrees take off to the right the landing area had to be wider than 5.55m=18’2’’
  4. However If Carl did take off 10 degrees to his right with jump 8’10’’=8.79m and they measured from the take off place he would have jumped 0’5.5’’= 14cm further , Carl would have landed around 50cm=1’7’’ outside landing area, to make this jump possible Carl had to take off from the other side of the board.
    Anyway, if that was measured diagonally it wouldn’t change much Mike Powell jumped 2cm further.

I went on the Sprint/ Hurdles Conference, Tom Tellez was giving speech, I cannot remember that he said anything about Carls hamstrings injury (possibly had one). Tom said that they have struggled with chronic knee pain through the whole Carl athletics career and they had to manage his condition all the time.

That sounds about right. thanks for the math. The side step info I got from dan Pfaff who was an assistant there, at Houston U, at the time. Later Pfaff taught G Rutherford to do the same thing because of similar injuries. If you watch this video you will see how far over carl lands. Especially on the jump view coming toward the camera, i think it’s the second jump. You’ll notice Greg Rutherford did the same side step thing if you watch his videos. Remember Carl had many jumps in the high 28s and several in the 29s, so a five or 6 inch difference is a lot. See video. Watch how much he zags to right on the penultimate/plant. It’s deliberate.

Also, the knee injury is another one. He had to decide what foot to take off after HS so he could avoid the bad knee. That’s crazy right? I actually read an article someplace where he said he could jump off either foot in high school and would sometimes do it. If I can find it I will post it.

I tried searchingfor the interview, no success…
But,here in this clip he used the left leg, and by most clips you can see that the rest of the time in Carl’s career through the Olympics it’s the right foot. This video was from the seventies when he was in Willingboro
He jumped over 26 ft in high school with the other leg.