The longest-standing Olympic record: Beamon's perfect jump

It has been close to five-and-a-half decades when long jumper Bob Beamon created an Olympic record in 1968.

Photo shows Bob Beamon in action during the 1968 Olympic Games held in Mexico City, Mexico. PHOTO: THE HINDU ARCHIVES   -  The Hindu

Records are meant to be broken, however some records stand for decades. It has been close to five-and-a-half decades when long jumper Bob Beamon created an Olympic record in 1968. The U.S. Olympian's leap is the oldest Olympic record that is yet to be broken.

At the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, Beamon not just leapt an astounding 8.90 metres (29 feet and 2.5 inches) but also shattered record books which prompted Soviet jumper Igor Ter-Ovanesyan to say, "Compared to this jump, we are as children." 

According to Olympic researchers, Beamon entered the Games with an unofficial world's best distance (8.39 metres | 27 feet and 6.5 inches). But, his record wasn't taken into consideration as it was wind-assisted.

However, come the Games on October 18, 1968, in Mexico City, Beamon went past his unofficial record with an impressive jump and created history. Researchers even suggest that Beamon's leap was so long that he exceeded the measuring capabilities of the equipment in those days.

However, the officials did measure the then 22-year-old's jump and confirmed it as an Olympic record. The American's world record jump was broken by another great Mike Powell, who leapt 8.95 metres (29 feet and 4.5 inches) to shatter Beamon's record at the World Championships in Athletics in Tokyo in 1991. However, it was not an Olympic jump.

Beamon's Olympic record stands untouched even after 53 years. It's the perfect jump.

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