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World Athletics Championships Oregon22

Series10 Jun 2021


100 ones to watch in Tokyo: horizontal jumps

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100 ones to watch in Tokyo - horizontal jumps

As the countdown to the Tokyo Olympics continues, we add to our series highlighting 100 ones to watch in the lead-up to the Games.

Some are known athletics stars, some are gold medal favourites, others will be outsiders. But they all have fascinating stories that will be worth following as the Games draw ever closer.

Every 10 days we’re profiling 10 new athletes, each time focusing on a different area of the sport. So far we have looked at the sprintsmiddle-distancelong distance, hurdles and steeplechase and vertical jumps, and now it’s the turn of the long jump and triple jump.

 

 

Tara Davis

Tara Davis

United States 

 long jump

The age-group star has made an impressive leap up to the senior ranks and joined the seven-metre club in March, breaking the US collegiate long jump record with 7.14m at the Texas Relays. The longest jump in the world since the 2019 World Athletics Championships final, that mark moved the 22-year-old – who is coached by two-time Olympian Edrick Floreal – to fifth on the US all-time list.

Davis has spoken about the struggles she experienced since 2018, the year in which she claimed bronze at the World U20 Championships in Tampere. This year, as well as breaking the collegiate indoor record with a world-leading 6.93m at the NCAA Indoor Championships, the multi-talented athlete has lowered her 100m hurdles PB to 12.75 as she continues to impress on the track and field.

 

Jordan Diaz

Jordan Diaz

Cuba

triple jump

Continuing Cuba’s strong triple jump tradition, a 16-year-old Diaz leapt 17.30m to break the world U18 best at the 2017 World U18 Championships in Nairobi and the following year he improved that mark to 17.41m in Havana to also set a North and Central American U20 record. One month later he won the world U20 title in Tampere.

The teenager picked up from where he left off in 2019, jumping 17.49m in Camaguey for a mark just a single centimetre off the world U20 record. In 2020 he jumped 17.07m for an area U20 indoor record. Now aged 20, and currently sitting third on the world rankings with a jump of 17.34m earlier this month, Diaz will be looking to build on his eighth-place finish at the 2019 World Athletics Championships with further success in Tokyo.

 

JuVaughn Harrison

JuVaughn Harrison

United States

long jump

Like Davis, Harrison (formerly Blake) is another multi-talented athlete and in March the now 22-year-old achieved the best-ever single-day high jump and long jump double, clearing 2.30m and leaping 8.45m at the NCAA Indoor Championships. No other athlete in history has both an 8.40m-plus long jump and 2.30m high jump to their name.

His outdoor campaign so far has been impressive, too, with an outdoor long jump PB of 8.44m in April followed by an outright high jump best of 2.36m on the same May day that he also jumped 8.24m in Texas. That 8.44m currently places him second on this season’s world rankings. “With the Games being pushed back, it gave me more time to train and get better,” he said in a recent interview. “I was thankful for it. It has given me more time to rest and recuperate the body.”

 

Yuki Hashioka

Yuki Hashioka

Japan

long jump

Hashioka needed to look no further than his own family for athletics inspiration when growing up, with his father Toshiyuki being a former Japanese pole vault record-holder and seven-time national champion and his mother Naomi having previously held the national record in the 100m hurdles.

For Hashioka, the long jump was “always calling” and he first achieved an eight-metre leap in 2017, the year before he won the world U20 title in Tampere. In 2019 he won the Asian title and improved his PB to 8.32m. With the Japanese record in his sights and a season’s best this year of 8.23m, the 22-year-old will be looking to peak at the home Olympic Games in Tokyo.

 

Larissa Iapichino

Larissa Iapichino

Italy

long jump

Another athlete following in the footsteps of a sporting parent but very much also leaping her own path is Larissa Iapichino. In February the 18-year-old soared out to a world under-20 indoor long jump record of 6.91m, a mark which also equalled the senior Italian indoor record which was set by her mother, the Olympic and world medallist Fiona May, when she won the 1998 European indoor title.

In 2019 Iapichino won European under-20 gold at the age of 17, claiming a title which her mother had won in 1987. That followed a breakthrough at that year’s national age-group championships where the former gymnast improved her PB four times, achieving a best of 6.64m.

 

Thea LaFond

Thea LaFond

Dominica

triple jump

LaFond has already made history for her nation, becoming the first athlete from Dominica to win a Commonwealth Games medal when she claimed triple jump bronze on the Gold Coast in 2018. She is far from done, however, and her aim in Tokyo will be to win Dominica’s first Olympic medal in any sport.

After injury and illness setbacks meant she was unable to compete to her full potential at the 2016 Olympics and World Athletics Championships in 2017 and 2019, the former multi-eventer started 2021 with a national record and world lead of 14.54m during the indoor season, and outdoors has leapt 14.35m – just three centimetres off her outdoor best. “Winning a medal would be an amazing way to put my country on the map,” she said in 2020. “I want to make the island proud. It would be my way of giving them a gift.”

 

Melvin Raffin

Melvin Raffin

France

triple jump

Raffin broke the world U20 indoor triple jump record when he leapt 17.20m in the qualifying round of the 2017 European Indoor Championships in Belgrade but injury struggles meant the now 22-year-old had to wait until February 2020 for his next 17 metre-plus jump.

The 2016 world U20 bronze medallist’s injuries also prevented him from competing outdoors for almost four years but he made his comeback with a 16.64m leap in Montpellier in May and soared beyond 17 metres for the first time outdoors at the start of June, recording 17.19m in Montreuil for a mark which places him fourth on the world rankings so far this season.

 

Yulimar Rojas

Yulimar Rojas

Venezuela

triple jump

Since becoming the first Venezuelan woman to win an Olympic medal with silver in Rio, triple jump star Rojas has won two outdoor world titles and added a second world indoor gold to her CV, and going by her recent performances Olympic gold, plus a world outdoor record, may not be far away.

The 2020 world female athlete of the year broke the world indoor record that year, leaping 15.43m in Madrid in the February. She started 2021 by jumping 15.14m outdoors in Ibiza but in her next competition the 25-year-old flew to a mark just seven centimetres shy of Inessa Kravets' world record of 15.50m set two months before Rojas was born – the performance matching her best indoor mark. “My ambition is to become the first woman to jump 16 metres,” said Rojas, who is coached by Cuba’s long jump great Ivan Pedroso, in 2020. “It is something unimaginable in people’s minds, but I think I have the ability to do it.”

 

Senni Salminen

Senni Salminen

Finland

triple jump

Salminen started her season in style this month, bounding out to a Finnish triple jump record of 14.51m to also secure the 25-year-old an Olympic qualifying mark on home soil in Turku. No doubt spurred on by the home crowd and domestic competition in the form of Kristiina Makela, the national indoor record-holder who jumped 14.26m to place third, Salminen added 29 centimetres to her previous best which had been set during qualifying at the European Indoor Championships in Torun.

“I knew I was in good shape but 14.51m, it’s big,” said Salminen, who broke 14 metres for the first time in 2020 and won national titles in both the triple jump and long jump in February.

 

Miltiadis Tentoglou

Miltiadis Tentoglou

Greece

long jump

With two European indoor titles as well as an outdoor continental gold to his name, Tentoglou will be looking to add a senior global medal to his haul this year, particularly following his world-leading PB of 8.60m achieved in May. That mark added 22cm to his previous best, which had been set when winning his first European indoor title in 2019.

The 23-year-old, who claimed world U20 silver in 2016 following his switch to the sport from parkour and freerunning, backed up that world-leading mark with two 8.40m-plus jumps at the Greek Championships to show his consistency.

 

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