Powell breaking long jump world record named 5th Greatest Moment


Tom Surber
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field
317-261-0478 x317

INDIANAPOLIS - Mike Powell setting the men's world long jump record at the 1991 World Outdoor Championships was honored by USA Track & Field on Friday as the fifth-greatest moment in U.S. track and field history in the last 25 years.

To help mark the 25th anniversary of USA Track & Field, fans joined USATF in selecting the Top 25 Moments in American Track & Field during the past quarter century. Fans voted for what they consider to be the top moments in the sports of track & field, long-distance running, and race walking by voting online at USATF's website, www.usatf.org.

At the 1991 World Outdoor Championships in Tokyo, Japan, Powell and Carl Lewis did battle in what many consider to be the greatest long jump competition in history.

Lewis wasted no time in taking the lead in the first round with a then Championships record leap of 8.68 meters/28 feet, 5.75 inches. Powell assumed second place in round two with a jump of 8.54m/28-0.25, before Lewis propelled himself to a wind-aided 8.83m/28-11.75 in the third round. Powell's monster fourth round jump was ruled a foul shortly before Lewis improved his lead with a stunning wind-aided jump of 8.91m/29-2.75.

In the fifth round Powell hit the board aggressively and landed in the pit with a new world record, having soared 8.95m/29-4.50. Powell's effort bettered the miraculous gold medal winning jump and previous world record of 8.90m/29-2.50 by Bob Beamon at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

Lewis tried valiantly to catch Powell with his final two attempts of 8.87m/29-1.25 & 8.84m/29-0, but he fell short of Powell's epic jump that continues to reign as the world record.

"This is a dream come true," said Powell afterwards. "Honestly, I thought Carl would beat me in the last jump. I have conditioned myself for so long to see him come from behind and beat me. I thought he would jump nine meters."

Suggestions for USATF's Top 25 Moments were taken through February 22, 2004. Fans voted for their favorite moments beginning February 28 and ending on June 20. The Top 25 Moments will be announced in reverse order leading up to the USATF Annual Meeting in December, where the top three moments will be revealed.

For more information on USATF's Top 25 Moments, visit www.usatf.org.

USATF Top 25 Moments

25. Jackie Joyner-Kersee breaks 7,000-point barrier in the heptathlon.

24. Khalid Khannouchi sets men's world marathon record in 2002.

23. Alan Webb sets U.S. boys' high school mile record.

22. Kevin Young breaks Edwin Moses' world record.

21. Lynn Jennings wins third World Cross Country title.

20. Alberto Salazar wins third consecutive New York City Marathon.

19. Flo-Jo sets women's 200m world record.

18. Gail Devers successfully defends Olympic 100m women's title.

17. Evelyn Ashford defeats two world record holders at 1979 World Cup.

16. Michael Carter sets national prep shot put record.

15. Valerie Brisco wins three gold medals at 1984 Olympic Games.

14. Stacy Dragila wins first ever women's Olympic pole vault.

13. Maurice Greene wins double sprint gold at 1999 World Outdoors

12. Decker wins two gold medals at 1983 World Outdoor Championships

11. Batten, Buford better world record at 1995 World Outdoor Championships

10. Flo-Jo shatters 100m world record

9. JJK breaks heptathlon world record at 1988 Olympic Games

8. Lewis wins fourth consecutive Olympic long jump gold medal

7. Jones wins five medals, three of them gold, at 2000 Olympic Games

6. Johnson breaks 400m world record

5. Powell breaks long jump world record