JuVaughn Harrison Qualifies for Tokyo Olympics 2021- Becomes First American Since 1912 to Compete in High Jump and Long Jump

Published 06/29/2021, 7:26 AM EDT
Jun 11, 2021; Eugene, Oregon, USA; JuVaughn Harrison of LSU takes a victory lap after winning the high jump at 7-7 3/4 (2.33m) during the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The 2021 US Olympic track and field trials have brought many youngsters to the limelight as they battled to earn a spot at the Tokyo Olympics 2021. There were a few new world records, whereas one milestone stands out.

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And that was achieved by JuVaughn Harrison. Harrison became the first American since 1912 to qualify for both high jump as well as long jump at an Olympics.

JuVaughn Harrison of LSU wins the high jump at 7-7 3/4 (2.33m) during the US Olympic Team Trials. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Harrison is the best American athlete right now in both long jump and high jump. And he will be taking part in both categories at the Tokyo Olympics 2021. Hence he will become the first American since Jim Thorpe in 1912 to compete in both disciplines.

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“I’m going there with the goal of winning both events. I don’t like to lose,” Harrison confident about medal prospects at Tokyo Olympics.

Harrison’s confidence comes from the fact that he is among the top 5 jumpers in the world in both the high jump and long jump. He won the high jump trials with a jump of 2.33 meters.

However, that jump would have only guaranteed a bronze at Rio Olympics 2016. It is to be noted that the jump was not his personal best, he set his personal best a few months ago at 2.36 meters.

JuVaughn Harrison at the trials. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

JuVaughn Harrison on practicing both high jump and long jump ahead of Tokyo Olympics 2021

In the long jump, though, Harrison was well clear of the chasing pack at the trials. He had his personal best jump of 8.47 meters. That jump is well clear of the Rio Olympics gold medal’s time.

With his brilliant 2021, Harrison became the first person in history to jump over 2.30 meters in the high jump and 8.40 meters in the long jump.

“In the high jump, you’ve got to plant your foot to go up and above the bar, whereas in the long jump, you have got to go up and out.

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“It is sometimes hard to correct that (training from one event to the other), but it is starting to become more of a habit,” Harrison said.

As Harrison said both the jumps require opposite techniques, which is tough to master. Maybe Harrison could rewrite history in Tokyo by bagging a medal in both the jumps.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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