Tajay Gayle mines historic long jump gold for Jamaica

By September 28, 2019

For all its achievements on the track, the Island nation of Jamaica has never produced a World title in the long jump – until now, until Tajay Gayle leaped out to 8.69 metres at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Doha, Qatar. 

Gayle, an outside chance for a medal, had qualified 12th after failing to get to the 8.15-metre automatic qualification distance and from there, he launched himself to 8.46 metres with his first jump to put the World Champion elect, Cuba’s Miguel Echevarría, under real pressure.

Echevarria would look like challenging for a brief moment, leaping out to 8.25 metres, but he could only add a few centimetres to finish third with 8.34.

The United States’ Jeff Henderson hit 8.39 metres for second.

With Gayle’s first jump putting the field under pressure, fans in Doha waited to see if he could hold on, with the big-jumping Echevarría, having got close with just one jump in the heats.

Gayle then had two fouls but then beat the personal bests of Echevarría (8.68) and defending champion Luvo Manyonga (8.65) with his fourth jump of 8.69.

If the pressure of 8.46 was immense, 8.69, broke the back of the field.

The distance is also Jamaica’s new national record, Gayle breaking James Beckford’s 22-year-old mark of 8.62.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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