Watt, Frayne make short work

Henry Frayne jumped 7.95 metres.
Henry Frayne jumped 7.95 metres. Pat Scala

FOR long jump it was decidedly short. Indeed it was so short and so seemingly insufficient it surprised even Mitch Watt, but he and fellow jumper Henry Frayne both last night advanced to the final despite neither breaking eight metres.

''I can't believe I am in the Olympic final jumping 7.99,'' said  Watt, the silver medallist at last year's world championships and a favourite to take out gold in London.

I was a little worried after the first jump, ideally I would have liked to have got that and gone home but it is always hard to commit fully in qualifying especially when it is 22 hours until we compete again which in a field event is really tight

''The plan was to do as little as possible so I feel like I didn't do much at all.'' Indeed he didn't. Watt fouled his first jump, disconcerted by the gusty tricky wind, and so with his second jump he was intent on only recording a legal jump. He jumped a modest 7.99m which was laughably short for what he would ordinarily jump but in the event he was not even required to use his third jump for his place in the final was already secured by that stage.

''When I heard it was 8.10m [the automatic qualifying distance], that is the lowest it has ever been at any of the world champs and stuff. It was a bit tricky out there the winds were extremely swirly and the second jump I just moved my run-up back and didn't give it everything I just wanted to get one on the board and it ended up being enough, I ended up finishing sixth or something. There is absolutely no advantage in jumping big in the qualifying round.''


Topics:  london olympics long jump

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