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U.s. Olympic Festival : Los Angeles--1991 : Memorable Moments

July 10, 1991|RANDY HARVEY

CARL LEWIS

Track and Field

Carl Lewis won the long jump in 1982 at Indianapolis with a mark of 28 feet 9 inches, which, at the time, was the second-longest ever behind Bob Beamon's 29-2 1/2 and still ranks fifth on the all-time list. On his previous jump, however, witnesses are convinced that Lewis went over the 30-foot mark, only to have it nullified by a controversial foul call.

"I knew it was a big jump," he said. "I don't know whether it was 30 feet, but I knew it was longer than the world record because they had a mark on the side of the pit at 29-2 1/2. I clearly landed past that. But before I could get excited, I turned around and saw the red flag.

"I said, 'Wait a minute!' You can feel the difference between a foul and a legal jump. I knew I didn't foul. I ran back to the board and didn't see a mark in the Plasticine. But the official said, 'I saw a foul; rake the pit.' It was a mistake. When a jumper is running that fast, you can't see whether he fouls with the naked eye. That's why we have the Plasticine.

"I told myself, 'My God, we had it.' But, at the time, I was 21, and I felt the whole world was in front of me. I figured that I would get it the next week or the next month or the next year. It wasn't as big a deal to me then as it would be now."

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