Greece’s Tentoglou strikes gold with dramatic final jump

All or nothing: Greece’s Miltiadis Tentoglou competing in the men’s long jump final. He was outside the medal positions as he hit the runway for the final time. — AFP

TOKYO: Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece won the men’s long jump in the most dramatic fashion as he leapt 8.41m in his final attempt to snatch the gold medal from Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarria.

Tentoglou was the world leader coming into Tokyo with an 8.60m leap at a domestic competition in May, but struggled to find his form and was outside the medal positions as he hit the runway for the final time.

He hit the board perfectly to match the leading mark, with his second-best jump of 8.15m assuring him the gold by edging out the Cuban’s 8.09m.

A limping Echevarria had one more chance to improve on his second-best effort but pulled up, sinking to his knees at the board, before being comforted by compatriot Maykel Masso, who won bronze with 8.21.

“What an incredible competition. What an incredible jump, the last jump,” the Greek said after winning his country’s first ever long jump gold.

“I wasn’t able to get it right at the start. But in the end I managed to pull something out to get the medal.

“I always have something left, something in reserve.”

Thirty years ago the greatest-ever long jump competition took place at the Tokyo National Stadium, the same site on which the Olympic Stadium now stands, when Mike Powell set the still-standing world record of 8.95m after an epic world championship duel with American Carl Lewis.

The empty new stadium amid Covid-19 related curbs and morning scheduling meant that Monday’s event felt a million miles away from that great night, and the athletes seemed to feel it as they struggled to find anything close to their best form, with Masso’s first-round 8.21 setting the modest pace.

Spaniard Eusebio Caceres was looking set for bronze with his final leap of 8.18m before Tentoglou’s final jump. — Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Athletics

Athletics-Ethiopia's Gidey breaks half marathon world record
Athletics-World Championship bronze medallist Quinonez killed in Ecuador
Athletics-Coates and Symington step down from UK Athletics roles
Athletics-Kenya's Rotich, Ethiopian Memuye win Paris Marathon
Athletics-Olympic champion Warner seeks entry to elite decathlon club
Athletics-De Grasse ready to dominate sprints, says Bolt
Kenya police say undecided where to arraign husband of dead runner Tirop
Athletics-'A great talent'- fellow athletes pay tribute to Kenyan Tirop
Hup Wei aims for a high after Tokyo low
Athletics-Kenyan police arrest husband of dead Tirop

Others Also Read