It doesn’t make sense – Gayle, Williams not in favour of new long jump format

first_imgWorld Championships gold medal-winning long jumper Tajay Gayle hopes that the new format for the event, which debuted at yesterday’s Diamond League meet in Stockholm, does not become a regular staple in future competition. The new “Final Three” format saw the top three athletes after five rounds contest a one-round “mini final”, which determined the overall winner. In the event of a tie, the best performance from the previous five rounds would have been used to determine a winner.Gayle, the national record holder, is not a fan of the change, believing that it renders the previous five jumps done in the competition meaningless. “For me to jump [for example] 8.05m and someone has 8.02m [going into the final round] and then someone comes and wins the competition with a 7.01m just like that and I had an 8.05 jump, that doesn’t make sense to me,” Gayle said. World champion bronze medallist Ruswahl Samaai of South Africa won yesterday’s inaugural event with a season’s best distance of 8.09m ahead of Sweden’s Thobias Montler, who jumped 8.06m and Finland’s Kristian Pulli, who received a no jump in his ‘final three’ attempt.However, Montler had the best jump during the five rounds prior to the final three showdown, with his best jump being 8.13m. Samaai’s best attempt was 8.07m while Pulli had a distance of 8.02m.Diamond League CEO Petr Stastny said on August 17 that the new alteration was made in an effort to be innovative, saying that the interruptions caused by the coronavirus created the right opportunity to “experiment a little”.“This format is likely to award athletes who have the ability to perform under the most intense pressure. We think it will bring more drama to the field events as nothing will be decided until the very last performance,” Stastny said. AGAINST THE CHANGE However, Gayle, who won Jamaica’s first major gold medal in the discipline last year in Doha, believes that competitors will advocate against the change being permanent.“I’m pretty sure this won’t be a thing really because I don’t think any jumper will accept this,” Gayle said. “Stuff (changes) like that wouldn’t make any sense to me.”Meanwhile, national triple jumper Kimberly Williams, the Commonwealth Games champion and multiple Olympic and World Championships finallist, also voiced her opposition to the format on Twitter yesterday.“I really hope this is the last time y’all do this because cleaning the slate after the 5th round isn’t it,” she said. “The furthest jump on the day don’t get the win any more [sic]. A. Complete. Joke.” Despite yesterday’s victory, Samaai was also critical of the format on Twitter, saying that the change was not necessary. “I won the competition based on a format that’s not fair towards the guy with the further distance,” he said. “I saw the disappointment in Montler’s eyes after our last attempts. He shook his [head], and I could see it: ‘THIS IS NOT FAIR!’ It doesn’t bring excitement. It only brings disappointment. Can we please stop fixing things that’s not broken?”The response has been mostly negative from international athletes including World and Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor, British long jump record holder Greg Rutherford, and World and Olympic long jump champion Brittney Reese.last_img

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