Mike Powell has arrived in New Zealand to prepare for his World Masters record attempt and another World record.
At the age of 51, he is competing in the Athletics New Zealand Track & Field Championships. The Long Jump competition will take place on March 7th in Wellington.
After training for 2 years and losing more than 60 pounds he only 5 pounds heavier that when he competed in the 1996 Olympics. Powell fully expects to win the competition and also break the World Masters record in the 50-55 age group. The current record is set 22 feet 5½ inches and Powell anticipated clearing that by 12 inches or more.
Breaking the Masters record would make him the ONLY athlete in ANY sport to hold both the current World record and Masters record at the same time.
After New Zealand he will turn his sites on the Rio Olympics but to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials Powell will have to jump at least 25 feet 5 inches within the next 16 months.
In 1991 Mike Powell beat Carl Lewis with a leap of 29 feet 4 ½ inches for a new World record. This beat Bob Beamon’s long standing record that was considered unbeatable. At the time, Powell’s long time nemesis, Carl Lewis was undefeated in 60 events over 10 years in the Long Jump.
Powell’s record has stood for 24 years and is one of the longest held in all of sports. Only Jesse Owens has held the Long Jump record longer and in January 2017 Powell will surpass that.
Powell continues, “This is an exciting challenge for me to actually compete with athletes half my age and I am confident about breaking the Masters record.”
“It will be interesting to see the dynamics of the competition. Will the other athletes relax a little and take it for granted they can beat the old man? Or will they be motivated to try harder for bragging rights by beating Mike Powell the World record holder?”
“Either way I will be energized. This is not like the ceremonial throwing out of the first ball in baseball. I am going to New Zealand not to strike out but to win the event and break the Masters record.”
“The other athletes should not be deceived by my age. I may be a little slower than when I beat Carl Lewis in 1991 but with age comes knowledge. Along with personal training I have been studying advanced techniques and have unique Long Jump knowledge that probably nobody in the world possesses.”
Simply by competing Powell is throwing down the gauntlet to all 50 something athletes to challenge themselves.Media Contact
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