Athletics-Long jump trial planned to eliminate foul jumps

(Reuters) - A plan to eliminate foul jumps from the long jump event is to be trialled this year, World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon said.

Ridgeon believes the discipline needs to get rid of the large number of foul jumps recorded to make it more appealing to the public.

"At the World Championships in Budapest last summer, a third of all the jumps were no-jumps, athletes stepping over the front of the take-off board," Ridgeon said on the Anything But Footy podcast.

"That doesn't work, that's a waste of time. So we're testing, for example, a take-off zone rather than a take-off board, so we measure from where the athlete takes off to where they land in the pit.

"That means every single jump counts, it adds to the jeopardy of the competition, the drama of the competition."

World Athletics also wants to ensure the new rules would not cause delays.

"We're working out ways of how we can get instant results so you don't have to wait 20 or 30 seconds before the result pops up," Ridgeon said.

The aim is to test out the idea with top athletes this year, and Ridgeon said any global introduction of the new rules may not happen until 2026, if at all.

The proposed rule change, however, already has high-profile critics.

Carl Lewis won long jump gold at four consecutive Olympic Games and his leap of 8.87 metres in 1991 is third on the world all-time list.

"You're supposed to wait until April 1st for April Fools jokes," the American on social media platform X.

"I guess it supports what I've been saying, that the long is the most difficult event in track and field. That would just eliminate the most difficult skill from the event.

"Just make the basket larger for free throws because so many people miss them."

(Reporting by Trevor Stynes, editing by Ed Osmond)

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