23 SEP 2007 General News This four

Men's Long Jump

This fourround competition was all about one series of jumps, the third.

In a virtually windless Gottlieb Daimler Stadion, World silver medallist Andrew Howe of Italy - jumping seventh in the order -  who until the beginning of the third round had been in second place with a 7.84m opening leap, behind South Africa’s Godfrey Mokoena’s first jump of 7.92, saw himself drop down the leader board as the earlier jumpers took their turns.

Firstly, Germany’s Christian Reif - jumping second - to great applause from the crowd in the back straight tribune which ran close and parallel to the runway, flew to 8.01m, moving the Italian down into third position. Then Mokoena - jumping fifth - increased his lead to 8.06m before with his next jump America’s Brian Johnson snatched pole position with a 10 centimetre better effort.

If motivation was required his rapid decent from second to fourth was enough for Howe who let rip with his third round jump which immediately followed Johnson’s 8.16m. The reaction of the Italian said it all, and as Howe celebrated, we waited briefly for the scoreboard which registered 8.35m (0.7m/s).

That was basically the competition finished, though in the final round Mokoena challenged well again with 8.12m, a performance which improved his best of the day but was still short of Johnson’s second place let alone Howe’s leading effort.

"I knew I had it in my body today,"confirmed Howe. "After Osaka I had some problems with my left heel but I bit my teeth. It does not bother me too much and I won't have surgery."

Chris Turner for the IAAF