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Irving Saladino
Saladino - Olympic & World Long Jump champion
20 July 2009

Current Olympic & World long jump champion Irving Saladino is set to face this year’s no 1 ranked long jumper Dwight Phillips at the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on July 25.

The pair have met on fifteen previous occasions with Olympic champion Saladino having the edge on Phillips with eleven wins to four although  Phillips has won both of their only two clashes so far in 2009. As undisputedly the world’s top two long jumpers of 2009  Britain’s number one long jumper Chris Tomlinson will view this as exactly the type of test he needs ahead of the IAAF World Championships in Berlin.

The American Phillips, now 31, was an Olympic & double World Champion at twenty seven but his form has slipped over recent years.  This year though Phillips is back better than ever posting a world lead and lifetime best of 8.74m back in June.

That leap recorded at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene is the longest jump since Mike Powell set the world record (8.95m) eighteen years ago in Tokyo at the IAAF World Championships. Incredibly that distance equates to a little more than jumping the length of a London Routemaster bus.

Saladino who has a lifetime best only one centimetre short of Phillips at 8.73m is keen to use the Aviva London Grand Prix to get the psychological edge over Phillips before heading to the IAAF World Championships in Berlin.

Saladino the younger of the two at twenty six won Panama’s first ever Olympic gold medal across all sports in Beijing last year.  Both Phillips and Saladino will be competing in London for the first time are keen to be the first to jump beyond twenty eight feet (8.53m) since Mike Powell back in 1993. 

Aviva London Grand Prix meet director Ian Stewart is delighted to welcome two of the world’s leading long jumpers to London saying;

“Undoubtedly this will be the finest demonstration of long jumping that British athletics fans will have seen for over twenty years  Phillips & Saladino are at the very top of their sport.

“Bringing these two athletes to the Aviva London Grand Prix is exactly the kind of challenge Chris Tomlinson and Greg Rutherford need to be up against in order to push themselves even further.”

Tickets for the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace, London on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th July are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk