Russian long jumper Aleksandr Menkow (Getty images)

Male

Pos Athlete Mark Country
1 Zarck Visser 8.31 South Africa RSA
2 Irving Saladino 8.16 Panama PAN
3 Rushwal Samaai 8.13 South Africa RSA
4 Henry Frayne 8.10 Australia AUS
5 Jeff Henderson 8.05 United States USA

Female

Pos Athlete Mark Country
1 Brooke Stratton 6.70 Australia AUS
2 Margaret Gayen 6.62 Australia AUS
3 Keri Emanuel 6.56 United States USA
4 Jessica Penney 6.54 Australia AUS
5 Chanice Porter 6.53 Jamaica JAM

Male

Pos Athlete Mark Country
1 Mike Powell 8.95 United States USA
2 Bob Beamon 8.90 United States USA
3 Carl Lewis 8.87 United States USA
4 Robert Emmiyan 8.86 Armenia ARM
5 Larry Myricks 8.74 United States USA

Female

Pos Athlete Mark Country
1 Galina Chistyakova 7.52 Russia RUS
2 Jackie Joyner-Kersee 7.49 United States USA
3 Heike Drechsler 7.48 Germany GER
4 Anisoara Stanciu 7.43 Romania ROU
5 Tatyana Kotova 7.42 Russia RUS

Long Jump

How it works

Competitors sprint along a runway and jump as far as possible into a sandpit from a wooden take-off board. The distance travelled, from the edge of the board to the closest indentation in the sand to it, is then measured.

A foul is committed – and the jump is not measured – if an athlete steps beyond the board.

Most championship competitions involve six jumps per competitor, although usually a number of them, those with the shorter marks, are often eliminated after three jumps.  If competitors are tied, the athlete with the next best distance is declared the winner.

History

The origins of the Long Jump can be traced to the Olympics in Ancient Greece, when athletes carried weights in each hand. These were swung forward on take-off and released in the middle of the jump in a bid to increase momentum.

The Long Jump, as we know it today, has been part of the Olympics since the first Games in 1896. The men’s event has seen some long-standing World records by American jumpers. Jesse Owens jumped 8.13m in 1935, a distance that was not exceeded until 1960, and Bob Beamon flew out to 8.90m in the rarefied air of Mexico City at the 1968 Olympic Games. The latter mark stood until Mike Powell beat it with a leap of 8.95m at the 1991 World Championships.

Did you know

The standing long jump was also on the Olympic programme from 1900 to 1912 and the American jumper Raymond Ewry won four times, from 1900 to 1908, including at the 1906 Intercalated Games.

Gold standard

USA has dominated the men’s event at the Olympic Games, with all but six winners since 1896. US long jumper Dwight Phillips, the 2004 Olympic champion, has won at four of the last five IAAF World Championships.

On the women's side, another American, Brittney Reese has been the top athlete in the event in recent years, winning at the last two IAAF World Championships and World Indoor Championships as well as at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Icons

Carl Lewis

The American superstar scooped four successive Olympic gold medals between 1984 and 1996, one of only two athletes in any sport to win an individual event at four consecutive Games, and he won at two World Championships. The World indoor record of 8.79m he set in 1984 still stands.

Heike Drechsler

The German won two Olympic, two World and four consecutive European titles during a top-class career that lasted almost two decades. She also set two World records and finished her career with a best of 7.48m, which makes her the third best women ever.