Cuban long jumper Juan Miguel Echevarria
Birmingham, Mar 3 (RHC) – Nineteen-year-old Cuban Juan Miguel Echevarria won the world indoor long jump championships Friday in Birmingham, the UK.
In a bid that British sports media called captivating and reminiscing of epic past contests when Cubans have refused to buckle under pressure, Echevarria defeated champion Luvo Manyonga, of South Africa.
The Cuban, whose leap of 8.28 metres was trumped by the South African with 8.33 jump, refused to accepting the seemingly inevitable and responded by first jumping 8.36 to move back into the lead and then, after Manyonga responded with 8.44, bettered what was already a personal best to win with a fifth jump of 8.46. The bronze went to defending champion Marquis Dendy, who leapt 8.42.
"I think I'm in the peak of my career," said Echevarria. "I'm feeling very physically strong. Birmingham has been great to me and the atmosphere has been fantastic and I'm really looking forward to what 2018 holds."
Juan Miguel Echevarria joins a list of top Cuban jumpers, led by five-times indoor champion Ivan Pedroso, who still holds the championship record of 8.62.
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