Capitalizing on wind gusts and high altitude, Ivan Pedroso set the world long jump record of 29 feet, 4 3/4 inches, Saturday at Europe's highest track, ending a long domination of the event by U.S. athletes.
The 22-year-old became the first Cuban to hold the world mark in the long jump and the first non-American to own the record since Russia's Igor Ter-Ovanesyan tied Ralph Boston's mark of 27-4 3/4 in 1967, at Mexico City, another high altitude city.Pedroso bettered the previous record of 29-4 1/2, set by Mike Powell at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo.
The wind, which foiled world attempts by Powell and Heike Drechsler of Germany at the 1992 Sestriere meet, was blowing at 2.68 mph, under the allowable limit of 4.47 mph for record consideration, when Pedroso set the record on his sixth and final attempt.
Meet organizers said record conditions were normal, although a steward later reported that someone may have affected the reading, standing close to the anemometer when Pedroso made his record jump.
The steward, Denis Morino, did not elaborate on whether the wind measurement was effected and there was no official complaint. It's now up to the International Athletic Amateur Federation to approve and sanction the record.
Other conditions were certainly adverse. Pedroso jumped amidst fog and chilly 55-degree temperature.
The wind was blowing at nearly 11 mph when American Gwen Torrence and Nigerian Olapade Adeniken raced to victories in the 100-meter events.
Torrence won the women's 100 in 10.83 seconds, with fellow American Carlette Guidry second at 11.10.
Adeniken was timed in 9.92, edging Canada's Bruny Surin, 9.96, in the men's sprint, with Americans Mike Marsh and Jeff Williams third and fourth. Marsh ran 10.03 and Williams 10.15.
Williams returned to win the 200 in a wind-aided 20.08 as Surin again finished second at 20.53.
Danny Harris scored another American victory in the 400 hurdles, clocking 48.58, while Rosey Edeh gave Canada its only victory of the day in the women's 400 hurdles in 56.27.
A $130,000 Ferrari sport car, the payoff for any athlete setting a world mark at Sestriere, initially appeared to be a problem rather than a prize for Pedroso.
"I never had a car, and I have no driving license," he said.