|Long Jump||8.01||+0.8||Moskva (Spartak Stadion)||10 JUN 2015|
|Triple Jump||17.53||+1.8||Sochi||27 MAY 2012|
|Long Jump||7.96||Moskva (Znamenskiy)||04 FEB 2014|
|Triple Jump||17.37||Sopot (Ergo Arena)||09 MAR 2014|
|2015||8.01||+0.8||Moskva (Spartak Stadion)||10 JUN|
|2015||17.34||+1.7||Cheboksary (Olimpiyskiy)||05 AUG|
|2014||17.29||+1.4||Eugene (Hayward Field), OR||31 MAY|
|2008||16.78||-0.6||Tula (Arsenal Stadium)||06 JUL|
|2015||7.49||Moskva (CSKA)||01 FEB|
|2014||7.96||Moskva (Znamenskiy)||04 FEB|
|2014||17.37||Sopot (Ergo Arena)||09 MAR|
|2012||17.36||Istanbul (Ataköy Arena)||11 MAR|
|15th IAAF World Championships||5||17.28||+0.3||Beijing (National Stadium)||27 AUG 2015|
|2nd IAAF Continental Cup 2014||6||16.82||+0.3||Marrakech (Le Grande Stade)||14 SEP 2014|
|IAAF World Indoor Championships 2014||1||17.37||Sopot (Ergo Arena)||09 MAR 2014|
|The XXX Olympic Games||9||16.78||+0.2||London (Olympic Stadium)||09 AUG 2012|
|IAAF World Indoor Championships 2012||3||17.36||Istanbul (Ataköy Arena)||11 MAR 2012|
Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.
Updated 1 March 2014
Lyukman ADAMS, Russia (Triple Jump)
Born 24 September 1988, Saint Petersburg
1.94 m / 87kg
Coach: Yuriy Zuyenko, Evgeny Ter-Avanesov
When Lyukman Adams first started to perform at the elite level, there were a lot of questions about whether Russia had an American competing for them. The questions were clearly caused by Adams’ dark skin, foreign name and solid results in an event that wasn’t among the strongest ones in Russian athletics.
But the truth is that Lyukman Adams, the son of a Russian mother and a Nigerian father, was born and raised in Russia, in Saint Petersburg. From the early years it was obvious that Lyukman and his sibling Lionel were quite tall and athletic, just like their father. “My dad was a promising football player in Nigeria, he even played for the national junior team, but he left his country to get the education in Russia,” Adams explained.
Lionel followed the footsteps of his father and started playing football; now the 17-year-old athlete is training with the main team of the CSKA Moscow football club. Lyukman was first captivated by basketball, but then he tried athletics. “I started growing fast only when I was 16 or 17, until then I was rather short and skinny, that’s why I wasn’t a promising basketball player then. But I was fast, that’s why I tried athletics. I loved doing different events, even shot put and javelin, but my main focus was sprint. But after a few years my results stopped increasing, then I tried the long jump at the competition, just for fun. But it turned out that my speed was sufficient to win in this event,” Adams recalled.
The next step was the triple jump. In his native city he was coached by Yuriy Zuyenko. After a couple of years in the triple jump Lyuk (that’s his short name) found himself stuck at marks just under 15.90. That’s when his coach, who specialized at working with sprinters, advised him to move to Moscow and join the training group of Yevgeniy Ter-Avanesov, the coach of Olympic medallist Danila Burkenya and World Championships medallist Anna Pyatykh.
Having spent only six months in the new training group, Adams won the Russian Junior Championships with a PB of 16.75 and then grabbed the gold at the European Junior Championships in Hengelo. But the next couple of years were quiet. In 2008 he managed to set an indoor PB of 16.86, in 2009 he hardly competed at all. “I had a nagging misdiagnosed injury. I thought that the problem was with tendons in my ankle after I sprained it at the training session. But it turned out there was a fracture – a small part of the bone that broke off. In March of 2010 I finally underwent surgery,” Adams recalled.
Only three months after the surgery, at the Russian Cup in Yerino, Adams produced a PB of 17.17 and a wind-aided leap of 17.21. Another wind-aided attempt over 17 m (17.02) at the Russia Championships brought him a silver medal and a ticket to the European Championships. In Barcelona he finished sixth. “I was too self-confident and too relaxed in the qualification round. So sure to make the final that I made two fouls and then realized that I had only three attempts, not six. In the final I was also confident that I could get on the podium, but this time that made me tense and even angry. You can never be at your best in that kind of state of mind,” Adams recalled.
The beginning of 2011 was promising. Lyukman improved his personal best by 15 cm (17.32) at the Moscow Indoor Championships. But he didn’t confirm his shape at the Russian Indoor Championships, jumping 16.80 for second place, and wasn’t included in the team for the European Indoors. Unfortunately, the summer was no better, as Adams had a slight injury that however didn’t allow him to train and perform at his best, and he decided to wrap up the summer campaign after one below-par outing.
Coming into the Olympic year of 2012 Adams was extremely eager to resume competing. He understood that men’s triple jump in Russia lacked a leader. Burkenya had switched to judging, experienced Igor Spasovkhodsky was far from his best results, the new generation (Aleksey Fedorov, Taras Moiseenko and Adams himself) lacked consistency and struggled with injuries and the junior Yuiry Kovalev was only starting his way to the top. So Adams decided not to wait to take the lead. He won the National Indoor Championships and got his ticket to Istanbul to take part in the World Indoor Championships.
In Istanbul, Adams had a great start with 17.04 leap in qualification and 16.98 in the first attempt in the final. The American duo of Will Claye and Christian Taylor was far ahead, but the bronze was almost up for grabs. But Adams kept fouling until the 5th attempt, when he produced his personal best of 17.36 which meant that he became the bronze medallist of the World Indoors. “Having studied the statistics I knew that 17.30-17.40 might be enough to get on the podium. And I also knew that except the guys from the US all the finalists were beatable. After making a valid first jump in the final I started adjusting the approach, but couldn’t figure out the margin, that’s where all the fouls came from. When I landed in the pit after my fifth jump, I thought that it was a bit further than 17 m. But then I heard my coach’s applause, turned my head around and saw 17.36 on the screen! All I could do until the end of the competition was to pray that no one beat me in the final round. This medal is very important for me, because I had a very prolonged competition break. Now I’m extremely motivated to go to the Olympics,” Lyukman said.
By the way, Adams always demonstrates a very good knowledge of stats. Especially when it comes to his role model, Jonathan Edwards. “I deeply respect this athlete. Modern triple jumpers are mostly tall guys, just like me, my height is 1.94, but Edwards was like 10 cm shorter, and he achieved remarkable results due to his hard work and dedication. Before I got my current shoe contract I even bought myself the Asics spikes, the exact same model as Edwards used for competition. By the way, at first he was relatively average – jumped 17.40, but then he was missing in action for some time, probably tried new training approach, and came back to set the World record and dominate for almost 10 years. I have never met him in person, but I’d love to one day, maybe I’ll have a chance in London,” Adams smiled.
Adams’ love for numbers also relates to his biggest hobby so far – playing poker. He even admits that he’d love to be a professional player after his athletic career. “I practice regularly, mostly online and only in the evenings after my training sessions, I also finished some courses. But of course I’m not grounded well enough yet, but I learn. I would never play before the workout or the competition. And I never put big money on it, as I play not for earnings, but for experience,” Adams explained.
Adams didn’t lie about his levels of motivation. He started his summer Olympic campaign in May with a personal best of 17.53 set at the Russian Team Championships in Sochi. Then he won his first ever Diamond League meeting – Oslo Bislett Games – beating World champion Taylor and European U23 champion Sheryf El Sheryf from Ukraine. And Adams was the only one to leap over 17.00 (17.06) at the National Olympic Trials. “The experience of Istanbul and Oslo really gave me a lot. After jumping along the Americans and other renowned rivals I feel more confident, more experienced. And I believe that I can do well in London,” Adams said after his victory in Cheboksary.
However, in London Adams couldn’t fulfill his potential. With 16.78m in his best attempt in the final, Lyukman placed ninth.
In 2013, Adams was getting ready for the indoor season, but during his first session in spikes, on 27 December, an old ankle injury came back. “It was so close to the New Year’s holidays that it was impossible to do anything right away. In the end of the day, I had to undergo a surgery, but luckily didn’t miss too much time and started summer preparations on schedule,” noted Lyukman.
He was aiming to make the team for the Moscow 2013 IAAF World Championships. He won the Russian Team Championships in Sochi early in the season with a 16.82m jump. At the Russian Championships he placed third with 16.77m, which would give him a berth on the team if he had a qualifying standard. Trying to achieve it, he traveled to Donetsk to take part in the Ukrainian Championships just three days after the Russian Trials, but still couldn’t go over 17m.
The 2014 indoor season was close to following the same scenario. Adams won the National Trials with a 16.97m attempt, just three centimeters shy of the entry standard. In just three days he was in Mogilev at the Belorussian Championships to try and achieve 17 m. This time he succeeded, registering a 17.00m jump.
Given the fact that this is the sixth best mark in the world coming into the IAAF World Indoor Championships Sopot 2014, Adams will travel to Poland with not to defend his Istanbul 2012 bronze, but to improve on it.
Lyukman has another special goal in mind - to break the national record of 17.77m, which was set by Aleksandr Kovalenko in 1987 outdoors and equalled indoors by Leonid Voloshin in 1994.
2005:15.97; 2006: 15.16; 2007:16.75; 2008:16.78 (16.86i), 2009:16.20 (16.22i); 2010:17.17; 2011: 15.60 (17.32i); 2012: 17.53; 2013: 16.82, 2014: 17.00i
Russian Junior Indoor Championships (Penza)
Russian Junior Championships (Sochi)
European Junior Championships (Hengelo)
Russian Championships (Saransk)
European Championships (Barcelona)
Russian Indoor Championships (Moscow)
Russian Indoor Championships (Moscow)
World Indoor Championships (Istanbul)
Russian Club Championships (Sochi
Russian Championships (Moscow)
Olympic Games (London)
Prepared by Elena Dyachkova for the IAAF “Focus on Athletes” project. Copyright IAAF 2012-2014