Sergey Morgunov of Russia competes during the Men's Long Jump final on day two of the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona on 11 July 2012 (Getty Images) © Copyright
19-year-old Sergey Morgunov opened the competition in tonight’s Long Jump final with what would remain to be his only attempt over 8 metres and that of the whole final for that matter.
The Russian champion’s 8.09 effort in the first round destroyed the rest of the field in a competition where not even he could regroup for another valid attempt. In fact, after fouling his next four jumps, Morgunov capped the evening with 7.93 which would also have been good enough for gold but that no longer mattered.
What mattered most by then was the battle for the minor medals which was such a close affair between the next 6 men in the field.
Denmark’s Andreas Trajkovski’s opening 7.53 saw him firmly into silver medal position until round 3 with Elliot Safo of Great Britain temporarily in third with 7.51.
The first threat came from China’s Haibing Huang whose second jump was measured at 7.53. Trajkovski responded with 7.56; he was still in second with just 3 centimetres to spare. But Huang had more cards in his game and his third round 7.64 put him into second.
Meanwhile Stephan Hartmann was also throwing down his gauntlet with a third round 7.52 just 4 centimetres outside the medals.
Positions at the top where shuffled yet again when Jarrion Lawson of the USA landed at 7.64 in round 4. The standings at that point saw Morgunov ahead of Huang (7.64), Lawson (7.64), Trajkovski (7.56), Hartmann (7.52) and Safo (7.51).
No one improved in round 5 so it was all down to the athletes’ final attempt and like in most cases a couple of athletes saved their best for last. In this instance it was the case for Trajkovski whose last round National Junior record 7.82 put him back into silver and Lawson whose 7.61 was his second best and better than Huang’s second best of the day of 7.53.
The Chinese found himself off the podium and a 7.42 last round effort confirmed he would go home medalless.
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF