Beijing Olympics: Men's Triple Jumper Idowu Phillips by Richard Giles from Perth, Australia.
In the triple jump the athlete sprints down the track and performs a hop, a bound and then a jump into the sand pit.
The athlete sprints down the runway to the takeoff board. In championships there is a tell-tale strip attached to the far edge of the board (often plasticine or modelling clay) to record athletes overstepping the board.
The three phases of the jump are executed in one continuous sequence.
The athlete jumps from the take off board on one leg (assumed here to be the right leg). The landing after the hop is very active, involving a powerful backward push with the right leg, with the right foot landing heel first on the runway. This marks the beginning of the step.
The Step or Skip
The athlete uses the backward momentum of the right leg to jump, the left leg assisting the take-off with a powerful thrust, leading to the familiar mid-air position (see above), with the right leg trailing bent at the knee, and the left leg leading, extended, and bent at the knee. The athlete holds this position for as long as possible.
Then, the athlete extends the knee of the leading leg, lands on the runway with a powerful backward pushing action and takes off again. By this time most athletes have lost too much speed to manage a full hitch kick, and most use a hang or sail technique. When landing the jumper should strive to avoid sitting back on landing, or dropping either hand into the sand behind the feet.
In international competitions, the pit usually begins 13m from the take off board for males, and 11m for females. At club-level male competition the board will be 11m from the pit. At each stage of the jump the athlete should get progressively higher.
A foul occurs when a jumper oversteps the takeoff mark, misses the pit entirely, does not use the correct foot sequence throughout the phases, or does not perform the attempt in the allotted amount of time (usually about 90 seconds).
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This page derived from wikipedia page Triple jump.