Stockholm (AFP) – Cuban teenage star Juan Miguel Echevarria won the long jump at the Stockholm Diamond League meet on Sunday with a monstrous wind assisted 8.83-metres.
In front of a 15,000 crowd in the Olympic stadium, the world indoor champion produced his stunning leap on his sixth and final effort to come just 12-centimetres short of American Mike Powell’s 8.95m world record.
Despite the excessive tail wind meaning the jump won’t last in the record books, it brought gasps from the crowd and demonstrated the incredible potential of this 19-year-old, who is now reaching distances not seen in international long jump competitions for a decade.
World number one Luvo Manyonga of South Africa — beaten by two centimetres in Birmingham in March for the indoor world title — came a distant third with 8.25m.
American Jeff Henderson was second with 8.39m.
“Today I was aiming for 8.50m but I didn’t think I was capable of jumping so far,” said Echevarria, whose personal best nonetheless remains at 8.53m.
Already, though, Echevarria has big ambitions on his mind.
“I’m not thinking about nine metres. I’ll have to work very hard to achieve that, it’s an enormous barrier.”
Abderrahman Samba continued his stunning form in the 400m hurdles with a run of 47.41s to beat world champion Karsten Warholm of Norway (47.81s) into second.
Samba, a Mauritanian who now runs for Qatar, not only improved his personal best but also set a new Asian record.
“I was looking for something special and I got it today,” said Samba, 22, who has four Diamond League wins from four this year.
Three people set year-best markers as Jamaican discus thrower Fedrick Dacres registered a 69.67m while Ethiopian teenager Selemon Barega ran the 5,000m in 13min 4.05sec and American 2013 world and 2016 Olympic champion Brianna McNeal of the US won the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.38s.
In the 200m, world champion Ramil Guliyev, the Azerbaijan-born Turk, won in a time of 19.92s.
World indoor 60m champion Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast was upset by Briton Dina Asher-Smith (10.93s) in the women’s 100m, though.