PEDROSO SOLER :
No one like him has won so well the right to have a place among the best of athletics’ history. This long jumper has achieved five world titles in indoor championships and three in outdoor events from 1993. So much glory has never been attained in less than a decade.
He has been considered to be the only human being capable of surpassing the 9 meter barrier. Actually, he was just about to beat that mark when, in 1995, in Sestrieri , Italy , he flew up to the 8.96 m . However, a referee who was coincidentally near the anemometer invalidated the colossal jump of this human kangaroo and deprived him of breaking the current world record by one centimeter.
During the Olympic Games of Sydney he proved to be a jumper who comes up with the best results in the exact moment when the competition requires him to do so. In that particular occasion, his first jumps had not been too good to grant him one of the first positions, but in the last one he took out his will of a champion and with a 8.55-meter jump he surpassed the Australian Jan Taurima, who was thought to be the sure winner having a mark of 8.49 m .
With a size of 5’8’’ and a weighing 152 pounds , this mulatto astonished the more than 100 000 spectators in the Sydney Olympic Stadium and millions of TV viewers. He could not let down the Australian public and all the support he had received from them as a display of immense generosity, a fact that was later recognized by Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee.
Against the criteria of some specialists, Iván Pedroso managed to be among the Olympic finalists at Athens 2004. He had had a poor summer campaign, but he sealed the cycle in the Hellenic capital with an outstanding jump of 8.23 meters , his longest jump during the year.
Born on December 17 th, 1972 , his best personal mark is an 8.71-meter jump. His assistance to high level competitions has diminished considerably owing to a serious injury in his right thigh, for which he had to undergo surgery.
He also possesses a Central American and Caribbean title, won in Maracaibo’98, a Pan-American one in Winnipeg the following year, and others from World University Games and Good Will Games.