Full Name: Robert Beamon; known as Bob Beamon
Date of Birth: 29 th August, 1946
Country: The United States of America
Sport involved in: Athletics
- Olympic Gold Medal in the long jump event of track and field athletics in 1968
- World record holder in long jump for 23 years
- Olympic record holder in long jump with a distance of 29 feet 2-1/2 inches
Career: Bob Beamon is the legendary track and field athlete from Jamaica, New York. He is best known for his world record in the long jump. At the age of 22, Beamon made the world record in the long jump event in track and field athletics discipline in the 1968 Summer Olympics. Beamon's jump measured 8.90 meter (29 feet 2-1/2 inches). He was also the first man to reach both the distance of 28 feet and 29 feet in the event. Since 1901, the world record in the long jump event had been broken for thirteen times before Beamon's jump. Beamon's gold winning distance exceeded the existing record by 0.55 meter (21-3/4 inches). Beamon's record was unbeaten for 23 years. His record was named as one of the five greatest sports moments of the 20 th century by the magazine, Sports Illustrated. Ultimately, American athlete Mike Powell made the new world record in the event in the 1991 World Championship in Tokyo. Powell jumped a distance of 8.95 meter (29 feet 4-3/8 inches). Beamon's jump is still the Olympic record in the long jump event. After his record breaking jump, Beamon never again jumped over 8.22 meter (27 feet). His next best jump measured only 8.33 meter (27.3 feet).
Performance at the Olympics: At the age of 22 years, Bob Beamon participated in the track and field athletics competition in the 1968 Mexico City Summer Games. Beamon had won 22 of 23 meets in pre-Olympic season. So he was one of the top contenders in the Olympic competition of the long jump event. Beamon was almost disqualified in the qualifying round. He had fouled in the first two attempts. In the third and last attempt, Beamon followed the advice of Ralph Boston, his teammate, and qualified for the long jump final. The final was held the next day. At that time, the world record in long jump was 8.35 meter (27 feet 4-3/4 inches). Beamon's first jump was so long, that the optical measuring device failed to measure the distance. The distance was measured using an old-fashioned steel tape. Beamon was so overwhelmed with his achievement that he collapsed. Beamon was called “the man who saw lightning” by a journalist. Beamon's achievement gave birth to a new adjective- Beamonesque, which is used to describe spectacular feats in the field of track and field athletics.