German amputee long jumps farther than 2012 Olympic champion; IAAF says he won’t be in the Olympics

Markus Rehm
AP
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Markus Rehm, a German amputee long jumper, broke his IPC world record Friday with a distance that would have won the 2012 Olympic gold medal in the event, but he will not compete in the Rio 2016 Olympics, according to the IAAF, track and field’s international governing body.

“We have already checked with our Member Federation DLV [Germany’s track and field federation] and with respect to their actual legal situation Markus Rehm will not be nominated by the German DOSB [German Olympic Committee] to compete in the OG Rio [Olympics],” an IAAF spokesman said in an email after Rehm’s jump Friday.

“That is a very specific answer from the people selecting Rehm for the Games which is the German DOSB, and is nothing to do with the IAAF. The IAAF is not responsible for selecting athletes for national teams, but we are responsible for the eligibility of athletes in general.”

Rehm leaped 8.40 meters at the IPC World Championships in Doha on Friday, bettering his previous record of 8.29 meters. Here’s video of the jump.

At the 2012 Olympics, Great Britain’s Greg Rutherford long jumped 8.31 meters for gold. Australia’s Mitchell Watt jumped 8.16 meters for silver.

Rutherford jumped 8.41 meters to win the World Championship in Beijing on Aug. 25.

Rehm did compete in the German National Championships in 2014, and won, but was left off the German roster for that year’s biggest meet, the European Championships, due to the controversy over whether his prosthetic right leg gave him an advantage (part of the “legal situation” the IAAF spokesman referred to).

Rehm, 27 and a 2012 Paralympic champion, had his right leg amputated below the knee after a boating accident at age 14.

Rehm has pushed for the chance to compete in able-bodied competitions, even if his results wouldn’t count in the official standings, to a point.

“I want to compete against able-bodied athletes, but I didn’t want to go in front of the courts,” he said, according to Agence France-Presse. “I just want to bring the para-athletes and Olympic athletes a bit closer.

“I look at the world rankings, at how far they can go and how far I go, and that is definitely what I am looking for.”

The IAAF passed the following rule on August 17 regarding athletes with prosthetics:

“For the purposes of this Rule (Assistance to Athletes), the following shall be considered assistance and therefore not allowed:

…..

(d)       the use of any mechanical aid, unless the athlete can establish on the balance of probabilities that the use of an aid would not provide him with an overall competitive advantage over an athlete not using such aid”

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