By Lori Ewing
BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Jamaica’s Wayne Pinnock needed just one attempt to secure his spot in the men’s long jump final at the World Athletics Championships, soaring to a world-leading 8.54 metres on his opening jump in Wednesday’s qualifying.
“I just jumped like I do in training. I came here, had the focus and just jumped,” Pinnock said.
“My coach told me to take one jump and I did it that way. When I saw the distance, I was like: ‘Oooh.’ I was trying for this moment and it happened so I am grateful.”
The 22-year-old improved on his personal best set earlier this season of 8.37, which had been No. 5 in the world.
Pinnock was ninth last year in Eugene in his world championship debut.
“In the final (Thursday), I want to go out there and do the same thing and whatever comes will come,” Pinnock said.
“I focused on pushing my first six or seven steps, then just kept my transition and take-off.”
Three Jamaicans clinched spots in final, with Carey McLeod (8.19) and Tajay Gayle (8.12) joining Pinnock in the final 12.
China’s Jianan Wang leapt 8.34 for second best on another hot and humid morning, while Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece was third with 8.25.
India’s Jeswin Aldrin, whose 8.42 was previously the best in the world this season, was the last qualifier, with a jump of 8.00.
(Reporting by Lori Ewing, editing by Pritha Sarkar)