The long jump has been part of all
sporting competitions since ancient times. It figured in the
Games of 708 BC as part of the pentathlon: the jumper took his
run-up holding a small weight in each hand which gave greater
The modern event was regulated in England and the USA in 1860: the take-off had to be made from a 20cm wide board into a sand pit. Hand weights were not used.
Until the 1920s, technique was fairly rudimentary, with the legs tucked under the body immediately after take-off, then extended and subsequently drawn up under the body again for landing.
Between 1922 and 1927, William De Hart Hubbard (USA), the first black Olympic champion and individual world record holder (100 yards in 9.6) introduced, along with Robert Legendre (USA), the "hitch kick," a running motion of the legs in mid-air. Variations of this, and the more simple 'hang' technique, remain the norm today.
The first women's long jump contests took place in the USA in 1895. The first IAAF women's world record dates back to 1928 while the event made its first Olympic appearance in London, in 1948.