Tyrone Smith continued his preparation for the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games by winning the Men’s Long Jump during the International Bottrop Gala Track and Field Event in Germany.
Smith — who will be making his second Olympic appearance — had a top leap of 7.95m, with Hussein Al-Sabee finishing second with a leap of 7.83m, third place went to Nils Winter who leaped 7.81m and finishing in fourth was Mario Kral leaping 7.74m.
The U.S. based athlete has a string of international wins, and is considered by many to be Bermuda’s best hope for a medal. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games, Smith’s top leap of 7.91m saw him place 15th out of over 40 athletes.
Smith — the Bermuda National Record holder — has improved since then with a new personal best of 8.22m in 2010. If Smith had attained that 8.22m two years earlier at the 2008 Olympics, he would have won the bronze medal as a leap of 8.20m saw Cuba claim bronze.
His personal best of 8.22m [almost 27 feet] saw him win a gold medal at the 2010 Central American & Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico. Smith’s gold medal was the second time Bermuda had claimed gold in the event over the past 75 years, following after Clarence ‘Nicky’ Saunders’ gold medal performance in 1987. Smith has, however, struggled to leap over 8m for most of this year.
“I’ve grown quite a bit both physically and mentally since Beijing,” Smith said earlier this week. “I’m a much better student of my event now and am strong and fast enough to execute what I have learned.
“One big lesson I learned is never waste a jump. I did that on the first round jump in Beijing and then missed the final by three centimeters. That won’t happen again.
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