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Carl Lewis' speed helped make him one of the greatest long jumpers in track and field history.
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The long jump can just as easily be named the “run and jump” or “sprint and jump,” because the actual jump is only part of the process. Yes, there are techniques for pushing off the board, for flying over the pit, and for landing. But these techniques, while important, can only maximize your distance, based on your takeoff speed. Once you’re in the air, there’s only a certain distance you can travel, based on the momentum you gained during the approach run, no matter how good your flight or landing techniques. That’s why there’s a history of great sprinters, from Jesse Owens through Carl Lewis, who’ve excelled at the long jump. Successful jumpers understand that every truly long jump begins with a fast, efficient approach run.