Kinematics of a World Record and Other World-Class Performances in the Triple Jump

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics

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John A. Miller Jr
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James G. Hay
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The horizontal jumps at the 1985 TAC (U.S. national) Championships in Indianapolis were filmed as part of the Elite Athlete Project of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Jumps by Willie Banks and Mike Conley were especially outstanding and, because of this as well as some excellent performances by the third and fourth place finishers, an analysis of the jumping techniques used by the top four finishers was conducted. Its purposes were (a) to determine selected kinematic data for a world record triple jump, and (b) to compare these data with corresponding data for previous performances by the same athlete and for performances by other elite triple jumpers. A comparison of the phase distances and phase ratios for the 1985 TAC jumps with those for the best analyzed jump by Banks, Conley, and Joyner at some previous meets revealed that, as they increased their effective distances, all three decreased the emphasis they placed on the step phase. The best athletes seem to use a “pawing” (or active) landing prior to takeoff into the step phase and a “blocking” landing prior to takeoff into the jump phase.

John A. Miller, Jr. and James G. Hay are with the Department of Exercise Science, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242. Direct all correspondence to the first author.

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