The jump for the ages: Mike Powell, Bob Beamon and a revered world record

Mike Powell

When Mike Powell broke Bob Beamon‘s long jump world record, he didn’t think he’d hold it for 23 minutes, let alone 23 years.

But now, Powell has held the record longer than Beamon did. In an era of short-standing track and field world records, the long jump mark has been broken once in the last 46 years.

What’s more, arguably the greatest track and field athlete in history spent more than a decade chasing the record in vain.

Powell withstood Carl Lewis in the greatest head-to-head duel in track and field history in 1991, ending Lewis’ 65-meet winning streak, winning his greatest title and snatching Beamon’s record.

Powell’s mark, challenged in a controversial competition in 1995, now seems more untouchable than ever.

Read more about the long jump world record, that 1991 epic and who Powell, Beamon and Lewis consider the greatest jumper ever in this NBC SportsWorld piece.

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