Big jump


Big jump

He's going for it

Senior staff reporter

Friday, February 07, 2020

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Sportsman of the Year and World Championships long jump gold medallist Tajay Gayle will be making his seasonal debut in the 60m at the Milo Western Relays at GC Foster College tomorrow.

Following his magnificent jump of 8.69m that brought glory in the long jump, Coach Stephen Francis confirmed to the Jamaica Observer that Gayle will be running the 100m and he strongly believes his charge can secure one of the individual spots on the Olympic team.

“Anything my coach believes I can do, I can do,” said Gayle.

The 23-year-old Gayle, who has a 100m personal best of 10.42, believes with a favourable wind, he could lower his 2017 60m best of 6.80 seconds tomorrow.

“At GC Foster, maybe it depends on the breeze. If I get a good breeze it is highly likely that I will. But I am just going through the motions,” said Gayle.

“The thing with my coach [is that] these meets are build-up meets and even if I run bad or good, it's just build-up meets,” he noted.

Gayle could face the likes of former world record holder and 2016 silver medallist at the World Indoors Asafa Powell and Nesta Carter, who also won silver at the World Indoors in Turkey in 2012. He could also come up against Julian Forte, Michael Bentley, Emanuel Archibald and Michael Campbell.

Gayle, who said training is going great so far, is not worried about who he faces in any of the two 60m races.

“I don't really have any thoughts, [I am] just going to run,” he said.

His coach, Francis, noted that the 100m will only help Gayle get better in the long jump.

Over the years, top sprinters Jesse Owen, Carl Lewis and Marion Jones used tremendous speed to help them excel in the jump event, and there were calls for sprint legend Usain Bolt to take a crack at it.

According to a projection by Engineering Sport — the centre of sports engineering research — Bolt with his 100m world record speed of 9.58 seconds could have smashed the long jump record of 8.95m by 1.55m, and set it at 10.50m.

Their famous examples included Jones, who boasted a long jump distance of 7.31m and 10.65s in the 100 metres; Owen with an 8.13m long jump and 10.2s in the 100 metres; and Lewis with a long jump effort of 8.91m and 9.86 seconds for the 100 metres.

After winning the long jump gold at the World Championships last year, Gayle noted that he warmed up as if he was going to run a 100m final, now he will have to run the 60m like a final to beat the likes of Powell, Carter and Forte.

If Gayle gets much faster, as his coach thinks, the it's sky's the limit in both the long jump and the 100m.

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