Phillips clears 8.74 for slice of history

American records fifth-best leap ever

Former world champion Dwight Phillips became the joint fifth-best long jump performer of all time when he leaped 8.74 metres at the Prefontaine Classic Grand Prix athletics meeting Sunday.

Phillips, the 2003 and 2005 world title winner, outdistanced Panamanian Olympic champion Irving Saladino by matching the longest jump in the world since 1994. Fellow American Mike Powell set the world record of 8.95 metres in 1991.

Saladino was second on Sunday at 8.63 metres.
"I have been to the top. I have been to the bottom. I think I am back on the upswing," said Phillips, who was hampered by injuries last year and failed to make the United States  Olympic team.

Only Powell, Bob Beamon, Carl Lewis and Robert Emmiyan have jumped farther than Phillips. Americans Larry Myricks and Erick Walder have equalled the distance.
"Those guys are the gods of the long jump," said Phillips.

Powell beaten

In other events, former 100 metres world record holder Asafa Powell was beaten into second by upcoming American Michael Rodgers but expressed confidence he was on the road to recovery from an ankle injury.

"I am not worried," said Powell, who ran 10.07 seconds to Rodgers's personal best of 9.94. "I didn't try to push it. I was out of the blocks slow."
Best performances of the year also came in the men's mile and shot put and women's 400 metres.

Kenyan Olympic medallist Asbel Kiprop won the mile in 3:48.50, US world champion Reese Hoffa bested the three Beijing shot put medallists with a toss of 21.89 metres and Olympic bronze medallist Sanya Richards won the women's 400 metres in 49.86 seconds.
Olympic champions Angelo Taylor, Andrey Silnov, Dawn Harper and Shelly-Ann Fraser suffered defeat.

Beijing bronze medallist Bershawn Jackson relegated fellow American Taylor to fourth in the men's 400 metres hurdles. Jackson clocked 48.38 seconds with Taylor running 48.79 seconds.

Silnov wound up fifth in the men's high jump, which fellow Russian Ivan Ukhov won at 2.34 metres.

Harper failed to finish the women's 100 metres hurdles which US world champion Michelle Perry won in 12.74 seconds. American runner-up Damu Cherry was given the same time.
Jamaican Fraser placed fourth in the women's 100 metres. American Carmelita Jeter took the race in a wind-assisted 10.85 seconds.

Olympic 400 metres champion LaShawn Merritt claimed the infrequently run 300 metres in 31.30 seconds, the second fastest ever.


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