18 September 2009

WYUCotF...?: Bob Beamon

Time now to introduce a new feature here at Sport Is A TV Show, in which we provide a curious sportistic factoidlet and ask you, dear reader, "did you know" it. We're calling it "Were You Utterly Cognizant of the Fact...?"

So, "were you utterly cognizant of the fact" that after he made that jump in the first round of the 1968 Olympic final, Bob Beamon attempted a second one? (It registered 8.04m.)

Two things. Firstly: after breaking the world record by almost two feet, after one of the greatest athletic feats in the history of the species, he somehow felt that he could emulate it. Which is adorable. Secondly: he was somehow able to pull himself together well enough to jump over eight metres: not earth-shattering, but not exactly bad considering how he obviously felt after that jump.

Then again, look at this. Jonathan Edwards broke (his own) world triple jump best with his first jump in the 1995 World Championship final. He broke it by 18cm — not quite a Beamonesque margin, but still extraordinary. Like Beamon, he took a second leap and...

By the way, if ever you wanted to see a man fly (with the assistance of a strong tailwind), watch this.

(Okay, maybe the fact that the camera was closer to the runway than it usually is makes it look cooler than it actually was. But how cool it actually was was way, way, way cool to begin with. So, y'know.)


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