Record-breaking triple jumper Hibbert aims to extend dominance with a transition to 14 steps at Jamaican National Championships

By July 06, 2023
Hibbert will trial his 14-step approach at the Jamaican National Championships this weekend. Hibbert will trial his 14-step approach at the Jamaican National Championships this weekend.

 Jaydon Hibbert, the reigning NCAA Indoor and Outdoor triple jump champion, is set to showcase his extended run-up of 14 steps on Sunday, July 9, the final day of the highly anticipated Jamaican National Championships this weekend.

After a remarkable season that saw him shatter records, the 18-year-old Hibbert is now determined to fine-tune his technique and timing before the upcoming World Athletics Championships in Budapest next month.

Hibbert, who previously achieved extraordinary results using a 12-step run-up, stunned the athletics world with his extraordinary performances. The young talent leaped to a record-breaking NCAA Indoor distance of 17.54m, setting a new world under-20 indoor record in the process. He continued his dominance by achieving a world-leading distance of 17.87m, which also secured him the world under-20 and Jamaican national under-20 records. His exceptional achievements led to him being named NCAA Field Event Athlete of the Year and SEC Field Event Athlete of the Year.

Heading into the national championships, Jaydon Hibbert's coach, Travis Geopfert, spoke about the transition to a longer run-up. Geopfert emphasized that the focus would be on perfecting Hibbert's rhythm and timing, rather than aiming for immediate spectacular results. The coach expressed his satisfaction with the progress made so far and highlighted the importance of competition experience in fine-tuning the new technique.

On a recent Zoom call, Geopfert explained, "You can expect him to work on his rhythm and timing. That's what you can expect. He's excited to give the 14-step approach a try. It's about finding that timing, and this championship provides a great opportunity for that."

When asked about Hibbert's limited number of jumps this year, Geopfert emphasized the calculated decision made to prioritize the athlete's freshness and long-term well-being.

The former Kingston College long jumper executed just 20 of a possible 45 jumps in an unbeaten run during the collegiate season.

 With the triple jump being physically demanding, coupled with Hibbert's age and potential in the long jump, the decision was made to limit his competition appearances.

"We felt it was in his best interest to focus on one event this year. With growth spurts and transitioning into college, it was crucial to manage his workload and reduce the risk of injuries. Jaden has been incredibly coachable and executed the plan with precision," Geopfert said, expressing gratitude for his athlete's commitment.

Looking ahead, Jaydon Hibbert's remarkable performances have placed him in a commanding position as he prepares for the world championships in Budapest. Although his world-leading status remains intact, the competition he faces at the world championships – assuming her qualifies - will feature athletes who possess the potential to challenge his marks.

That has not been a concern for the coach, who also conditions Hibbert’s compatriots, long jumpers Wayne Pinnock and Carey McLeod.

“We haven’t talked specifically about that. We talked about execution of what he’s trying to do,” Geopfert said. “You cant control what other people are going to do and he’s off the mindset to just go out there and compete.

“I mean that is what makes these athletes great. All these athletes that we’re coaching, they’re elite and they not only have talent but they have the ability to compartmentalize and focus on the task at hand. That’s the only way you really become elite.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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