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Not So Long a Jump When You’re Standing

Talk about nostalgia, the standing long jump made a brief and sentimental appearance Wednesday at Athens’ Tsiklitiras International track meet.

The annual meet is named after Konstantin Tsiklitiras, a Greek who was the world’s last Olympic champion standing long jumper.

He died a year after taking the gold medal in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics with a leap of 11 feet 3/4. The event was eliminated the same year.

Christos Kyritsis, the top finisher on Wednesday, jumped 10-6 3/4. That mark was considerably shy of a jump of 11-4 7/8 established by Ray Ewry of the U.S. in the 1904 Games, a world record at the time.

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Other events appearing only in the 1912 Games included the both hands shotput, discus and javelin.

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More track: After Ato Boldon won the 100 meters in 9.86 seconds, he said, “I ran faster than Ben Johnson did on steroids.”

Not so fast, Ato. Johnson once ran 9.79, a record that was nullified because he failed a drug test.

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Trivia time: The men’s U.S. Open has been held only once on a Los Angeles golf course. Where and when?

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A naked Worm? Appearing Wednesday night on “The Tonight Show,” Dennis Rodman reiterated his desire to play his last NBA game in the buff.

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Jay Leno’s reaction: “I’ll try not to sit courtside.”

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Not enough time? German World Cup Coach Berti Vogts hasn’t imposed any celibacy rules on his players. Said Vogts in an interview with the German magazine Bunte: “Before a game? The boys can do whatever they like. But it’s not possible at halftime.”

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Time plan: Shirley Povich, the late sports columnist for the Washington Post, was married to his wife, Ethyl, for 66 years.

Asked about the secret of their marriage, Povich said: “We take it one decade at a time.”

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FYI: Among active players, Bruce Lietzke and Phil Mickelson share a frustrating statistic: Most tour victories without a major title, 13 and 12.

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Lietzke, however, is only semi-active, having played only nine events in 1997.

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Looking back: On this day in 1954, Ed Furgol edged Gene Littler by one stroke to win the U.S. Open at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J.

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Trivia answer: Riviera Country Club, where the event was won by Ben Hogan in 1948.

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And finally: Dan Shaughnessy in the Boston Globe: “Like most of us, Jack McCallum of Sports Illustrated has a favorite Larry Bird story. He traveled with the Celtics to Spain in 1988 for the McDonald’s Open.

“The Celtics were scheduled to meet with King Juan Carlos and, when McCallum tried to arrange a brief interview with Bird, Larry told him, ‘Maybe we can do it tomorrow after we do that king thing.’ ”

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