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Saladino wins long jump on final leap to beat Andrew Howe

Saladino wins long jump on final leap to beat Andrew Howe

Irving Saladino saved his best for last.
Pushed into second place by Andrew Howe's jump of 8.47 meters on the third-last jump of Thursday's long jump at the world championships, the Panamanian pushed right back.
"When he did 8.47, a lot of things went though my head." Saladino explained. "I was even thinking negative stuff like I couldn't top that mark. But something in me told me I'm the No. 1 in the world and I dug down."
He sure did _ and with world record holder Mike Powell watching in the stands.
Saladino exploded, leaping 10 centimeters farther than Howe's mark, bringing Panama its first-ever medal in a world championships. American Dwight Phillips was third at 8.30, which came on his first of six jumps.
"I knew I had it in my legs," said Howe, who moved from Los Angeles to Italy when he was a child. "I wanted to win but at the same time I knew he (Saladino) was going to come out with some crazy jump.
"I'm happy at the same time I got my silver medal. It was a great competition and I'm absolutely looking forward to another competition like this."
Read into that, next year's Beijing Olympics.
When Howe hit his near-winner, he jumped and punched the sky, gesticulating like he'd already won with friends and family members cheering in the stands.
Saladino had other ideas.
"I didn't really notice what he was doing, I was just focusing," Saladino said. "I'm happy to be in Panama's history books, and now my only goal is to win an Olympic gold medal."
For Saladino and Howe, both jumps were personal bests. It was something less than that for Phillips, who is also looking forward to another shot at Saladino.
"It's kind of a bitter taste in my mouth, but I have some motivation now for next year," said Phillips, who had 8.22 on his last jump _ the penultimate of the competition _ but was about 30 centimeters behind the takeoff board.
"I have to say the best guy won, that's for sure."


Updated : 2021-05-17 00:45 GMT+08:00