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Sotomayor Is First to Jump Record 8 Feet

Associated Press

Cuba’s Javier Sotomayor became the first person to high jump 8 feet, setting a world record Saturday night in the Caribbean Championships.

“It is a fantastic feat because I am the first man in jumping the eight feet, and that is fabulous,” Sotomayor said.

Sotomayor set the previous mark of 7-11 1/2 in 1988 at Salamanca, Spain. At that time, his jump broke the previous outdoor world record of 7-11 set by Patrick Sjoeberg of Sweden in Stockholm on June 6, 1987.

Sotomayor, 21, also holds the indoor mark at 7-11 1/2.

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He made the historic jump on his second try. On his first attempt, Sotomayor touched the bar with his left leg.

The 6-foot-4 Cuban said he was not disappointed about not being able to compete in last year’s Seoul Olympics because of the Cuban boycott, but said he is looking forward to the 1992 Games at Barcelona, Spain.

Topping the 8-foot barrier is a significant mark in track and field.

In the men’s high jump, the record metrically is now 2.44 meters, exactly 8 feet, but for Europeans, the more significant height would be 2.45 (8-0 1/2), because they recognize increases of five centimeters (or .05 of a meter).

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