Long jump champ Miltiadis Tentoglou – I’d quit if rules change

Long jump champ Miltiadis Tentoglou – I’d quit if rules change

GLASGOW, Scotland — Miltiadis Tentoglou threatened to quit the long jump shortly after winning the world indoor title Saturday, saying he would change events if the sport implements a rule change intended to eliminate foul jumps.

The amendment World Athletics is proposing involves introducing a take-off zone where jumps would be measured from an athlete’s take-off to landing position, getting rid of foul jumps to make the event more appealing to fans.

“I consider long jump to be one of the hardest events because of the board and the accuracy you need,” Tentoglou told reporters. “You need to run like a sprinter, to hit the board perfectly — this is the difficult part of the long jump. The jump itself is easy. The hard part is the run-up.

“So if they want to remove this, the long jump would be the easiest event,” he added. “If that happens, I will not do long jump anymore. I will be a triple jumper.”

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said Thursday at the worlds’ opening news conference that changes like to the long jump are needed to keep pace with changing interests of viewers and sponsors.

“The holy grail of every sport is to remain salient, interesting, exciting to young people. We have can’t have a tin ear in their direction,” Coe said. “We have to recognize that the way people consume sport — the way they consume entertainment — is different than it was even three years ago.”

Tentoglou, 25, is also the reigning Olympic and world outdoor champion. He and Italian Mattia Furlani, 19, both leapt 8.22 meters (26.97 feet) in Glasgow, with the Greek jumper taking gold on the tiebreak due to his longer second-best jump.

“It was very close. I hope everyone had some fun today, at least, it was exciting in the end,” Tentoglou said.

Furlani, whose silver was his first global medal, flew to what looked to be the winning jump on his sixth and final attempt, but the red flag went up to signal a foul because he stepped past the take-off board.

Under the proposed rule amendment, he would probably have won the gold medal, but Furlani was not too disappointed.

“Wow, what a great day. I am so excited because it is the first steps for me on the world stage,” he said. “I have got time now [in my career] to improve my speed and my power. But I am so excited to have done this.”

Carey McLeod of Jamaica won bronze with 8.21 meters.

One-third of all jumps at the 2023 world outdoor championships were no-jumps, prompting World Athletics to look at ways of changing the rules.

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