Irving Saladino sails to victory again in Hengelo (organisers) © Copyright
The personal records of Panama's Saladino, the reigning Olympic champion, and Phillips, the three-time World champions, are separated by just one centimetre. The best jump of the American Phillips is 8.74m, while Saladino produced his best jump at the 2008 FBK-Games when he crushed the stadium record with a 8.73m leap. With the two best athletes of the past decade taking to the Long Jump runway the meetings' 29th edition is guaranteed to be as attractive as the edition in 2009. In a riveting competition that year, Saladino beat the American by just two centimeters with a jump of 8.56m.
In 2008 the landing area of the long jump facility in the FBK-Stadium was extended specially for Saladino. With his victory jump of 8.53met the year before he said he couldn’t jump with maximum power. The Panamanian showed his appreciation to the organizers with an outstanding jump of 8.73m, which still stands as the best jump of his career. For his gold medal at the Beijing Olympics a jump of 8.34m was enough. The year before he conquered the world title with a jump of 8.57m.
Phillips' best leap is from 7 July 2009 when he jumped 8.74m in Eugene. The 2003, 2005 and 2009 World champion won at the FBK-Games last year but the 'Big Two' didn't meet. Saladino came to Hengelo but had to cancel his appearance due to injury.
Organisers for the IAAF