The purposes of this study were (a) to describe the techniques used by elite triple jumpers and (b) to determine which characteristics were significantly related to the officially recorded distance of the jump. The subjects were the 12 finalists in the Triple Jump at the 1984 Olympic Games. Two motion-picture cameras placed with their optical axes at right angles to the runway were used to record the performances of the subjects. Means and standard deviations of the variables identified in a theoretical model and correlations between these variables and the distance of the jump were computed. Correlation of the distances achieved in each of the phases with the official distance of the jump suggested that, although the hop and jump phases made greater percentage contributions to the official distance than did the step phase, they accounted for only small amounts of the variance in that distance. Significant correlations of other independent variables with the distance of the jump suggested that the more the athlete's resources are expended prior to the jump phase and the more vertical his effort at takeoff into the jump, the better is the final result.
The authors wish to express their appreciation to Lisa Smith for digitizing the films, to The Athletics Congress of the USA, for financial support, and to the International Amateur Athletic Federation, the Los Angeles Olympic Committee, and the Medical Commission of the International Olympic Committee for making it possible to gather data at the 1984 Olympic Games.
Direct all correspondence to James G. Hay, Biomechanics Laboratory, Dept. of Exercise Science and Physical Education, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242.