The United States nearly took gold and silver in the men’s long jump competition. But a ruling involving the left hand of Jarrion Lawson resulted in his not getting onto the medal stand.
On Lawson’s final attempt he appeared to post a jump that would have exceeded the event bests recorded by fellow American Jeff Henderson and South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga. But when the distance of 7.78 meters flashed onto the board Lawson and much of the crowd in attendance responded in shock. The reason for the low measurement? Lawson’s left hand was the first part of his body to touch the sand pit, thus taking him out of medal contention.
Lawson’s best jump of 8.25 meters was just behind the mark of 8.29 meters hit by Great Britain’s Greg Rutherford, placing him fourth.
As for Henderson, his jump of 8.38 meters on his final attempt was enough to take gold, the 999th gold medal for the U.S. in Olympic history. Manyonga, who was banned from the sport for 18 months in 2012 after testing positive for methamphetamine, managed to conquer his addiction and Saturday night he became South Africa’s first medalist in the long jump.
Taking bronze was Rutherford, who won gold in the event in London four years ago.