Athletics News

Changing the format of the long-jump – and a few other events

Changing the format of the long-jump – and a few other events

This is our third article on the Long Jump controversy. Mike Rowbottom, Deji Ogeyingbo and now, Stuart Weir have opened the conversation on how we should change the sport, if we should change the sport, and who we should listen to as we consider changing the sport. 

Changing the format of the long – and a few other events

World Athletics has announced a plan to change the format of the long jump so that there would be no fouls with every jump counting and being measured from take-off to landing. CEO of World Athletics, Jon Ridgeon, said that they needed to make every jump count and “add to the jeopardy and the drama of the competition.” Ridgeon told the Anything But Footy podcast that a third of all jumps at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest did not count, adding: “That doesn’t work; that is a waste of time.”

The proposal was almost universally criticized. Carl Lewis, winner of four consecutive Olympic golds in the long jump, wrote on X: “You’re supposed to wait until April 1st for April Fools’ jokes.” Lewis’s more serious response was that running at full speed and taking off from a small board was a highly skilled operation and that the new proposal would dilute the skill involved in the long jump.

Jon Ridgeon, COO, World Athletics, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics

Jazmin Sawyers posted a video on social media, saying: “I don’t think there is anything wrong with the long jump, and having the board is part of the drama. I appreciate that they are trying to do something, but this is how I view it. I don’t think this particular innovation is a good idea. I don’t think this is what the long jump needs.”

In the build-up to the World Indoor Athletics Championships, there were press points with several British athletes who were invited to comment on the proposal and other potential changes to our sport.  Some interesting views were expressed.

Josh Kerr

“I probably can’t speak specifically on the long jump side of things because I obviously don’t have a leg to stand on there, but I get what they are trying to They’re trying to keep engagement and ensure sure that the best jumpers in the worldjust measured across the board so that people can get excited about how theyeople can jump. And so, from the standpoint of a 1500-meter runner, I can understand where World Athletics is coming from. We want to keep engagement and ensure people are excited about the sport. And maybe people don’t obviously love the idea,…

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