Healthy competition pushes Chinese long jumpers forward

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-02 20:50:28|Editor: Xiaoxia
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SHENYANG, China, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Among a handful of events that China has a chance to claim medals at the upcoming IAAF World Championships in Doha, men's long jump is definitely one to watch at the national trial here on Friday.

Compared with other events where the qualifications for the Doha worlds have already settled before the trial, the men's long jump saw four top Chinese jumpers battle it out for three slots in Doha.

Gao Xinglong, who just posted a season best of 8.23 meters in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland on June 30, turned out to be the unlucky one.

Former world U20 champion Wang Jianan led the field with 8.18 to earn the qualification to Doha while Asian championships runner-up Zhang Yaoguang came second in 8.01. Asian championships bronze medalist Huang Changzhou filled up the quota with his 7.99 first attempt, pushing Gao to fourth at 7.94.

Wang admitted that he was a little nervous before the competition.

"I was a bit nervous and the track was slippery because it rained while we were warming up, so I did not bring out my best performance. I had hoped to jump over 8.20 to reach the Tokyo Olympics standard," said the 22-year-old.

Their American coach Randall Huntington welcomed the competition between his long jumpers.

"It's a great competition. That's what you want. You want three, four, five, six guys after it. It's the same in the U.S. It's always fun to see... who wants to get out there and be the best," said Huntington, who coached Mike Powell to set the long jump world record of 8.95 in 1991.

At Doha, the Chinese legion will be up against strong rivals Jeff Henderson, Luvo Manyonga, Juan Miguel Echevarria and Miltiadis Tentoglou who all passed 8.30 this season.

When asked about his expectations, Huntington said he would rather focus on their process than just goals.

"We want processes. We know processes achieve the expectations, the goals. So we're focused on process right now. If you let that (expectations) take control, you will make every mistake possible," he said.