13 SEP 2009 Report

Event REPORT - Long Jump - MEN

Fabrice Lapierre takes flight in the long jump to snatch victory with a wind-assisted 8.33m (Getty Images)Fabrice Lapierre takes flight in the long jump to snatch victory with a wind-assisted 8.33m (Getty Images) © Copyright

A dramatic last round 8.33m windy leap (2.4m/s) powered Australia’s Fabrice Lapierre to victory.

The 25-year-old who retained the title which he won in Stuttgart last year (third round; 8.14), had a little bit of luck on his side as his last round performance coincided with the only windy moment of the competition (all the other jumps of all 8 competitors in this four round competition were wind legal; 1.6m/s the stiffest other assisting breeze).

But that’s not taking anything away from the gritty Australian whose competitive spirit gave him the tenacity to launch himself from fifth place (7.84m; third round) to victory and secure the $30,000 prize with his final effort.

Until the third round the competition had been tied between the World champion and World silver medallist, respectively USA’s Dwight Phillips and South Africa’s Godfrey Mokoena, who had both leapt 8.13 and then 8.14 with their opening two efforts.

Phillips had broken the stalemate with an 8.24m performance on his third try while Mokoena fouled. Phillips’ mark held onto the lead (ultimately taking second) until passed by Lapierre’s last round 8.33. Mokoena improved to 8.17 on his last for third place, while Phillips had an 8.13 jump also in response to Lapierre’s big jump.

"I am very happy," said Lapierre. "I came here to jump 8.40 metres. I knew that I could have won with that. The level is very high now in the event and it will be higher as we will come closer to 2012 Olympics."

Chris Turner for the IAAF