Lapierre - 8.78 metres

Long jumper Lapierre joins the elite in recording his flying best
April 19, 2010

Fabrice Lapierre competes in the long jump.

Fabrice Lapierre competes in the long jump. Photo: Getty Images

AUSTRALIAN Fabrice Lapierre floated and flew to the sixth-greatest performance by a long jumper under any conditions yesterday - and then predicted even bigger things to come.

Lapierre’s massive jump of 8.78 metres - with the aid of a 3.1-metre-a-second tailwind - was the standout performance of the three-day Commonwealth Games selection trials in Perth.

Only Americans Mike Powell, Bob Beamon and Carl Lewis, Soviet athlete Robert Emmiyan and Cuban Ivan Pedroso have jumped further.

‘‘It’s always there,’’ said Lapierre, 26, who won the world indoor title last month.

‘‘People don’t understand that one day I’m going to jump something even more exceptional than that. It’s only a matter of time.’’

In a high-standard competition, Chris Noffke finished second, moving to fourth on the Australian all-time list with a jump of 8.33 with a legal tailwind.

Noffke’s big leap in the penultimate round provided Lapierre with the motivation to go for broke. ‘‘That jump was incredible. It felt like I was flying,’’ Lapierre said.

Ryan Gregson won the blue-ribbon 1500-metre title, mowing down Jeff Riseley in the final 20 metres in the first competitive clash between Australia’s two rising stars of middle distance running.

Gregson won a tactical race in three minutes, 44.99 seconds, ahead of Riseley (3:45.15) and Jeremy Roff (3:45.37), with the first two certain to be among the estimated 70 athletes named in the initial Delhi Games team today.

‘‘We had 12 guys trying to think on their feet today and it pretty much went down to what I thought it would be like,’’ said Gregson, 19.

''Riseley’s strength was going a lap out and just trying to hold me out.

‘‘And as I have shown every race this season, my strength has just been simply the home straight - that has been the only time I have been taking the lead.’’

Australia’s two reigning world champions, pole vaulter Steve Hooker (5.80 metres) and discus thrower Dani Samuels (63.61), were untroubled in winning their respective events.

But despite the $100,000 on offer if he could break Sergey Bubka’s 17-year-old world record, Hooker did not even get a crack at 6.15 after missing twice at 5.95 and once at 6.01.

What a massive jump it looked fantastic. Fabrice was one of those athletes who was ignored by AA for many years and is only now getting any help and recognition.

Been following his results…never met him …do not know him.


Did you ever hear him talking it up, complaining, justifying his under-performance, or complaining about not satisfactory treatment by the AA, or getting married then divorced then again married to attract the media…?

I have not. He seems to be a quiet guy who can jump far! That’s all that matters. The rest is secondary…or in plain English…crap.

Well done!

I’m not sure he has been over looked by AA. He’s been living in the US for the last five or six years and has continues to recurve funding to compete os during the summer. What else should AA do?

Yes as a matter of fact I do know him and have met his family, and you are right he is quiet and an extremely nice guy


AA have ignored him and did not support him for many years.

that’s what AA do - minimal support during development and when you do reach a high level of performance they start the name dropping. Great individual performances are a great save face for head coaches.