Posted on August 13, 2016
Article by JOY EKEMA-AGBAW with the University of Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas. – Recent Arkansas graduate Jarrion Lawson continued his historic 2016 season, thundering down the runway in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday evening in the long jump finals as fans marveled at his power and explosion off the board and into the perfectly manicured sandpit.
The 2016 Bowerman Award finalist placed fourth in his Olympic debut in the action-packed competition which saw four athletes mark jumps exceeding 27 feet.
The world-leader in the long jump heading into the Olympic Games, Lawson opened Friday’s qualifying round with a solid leap of 7.99m/26-2 3/4. His mark positioned him as the No. 2 performer inside the B section and held strong well inside the top 12 for the seventh-best overall mark of the qualifying event.
Determined to secure three additional attempts in order to increase his medaling opportunities, Lawson quickly jumped into a comfortable top-three position with a mark of 8.19m/26-10 1/2 on his first jump in the final round. He went on to improve on his rank, becoming the first in the field of 12 to mark a 27 foot jump on his third attempt, propelling him into the lead heading into the final three jumps of the competition.
As the leader after three rounds, Lawson was the last to jump in rounds four, five and six. He sat in silver position going into the sixth and final round, but was surpassed by Great Britain’s Greg Rutherford and fellow American and eventual champion Jeff Henderson. On his final attempt, Lawson appeared to land beyond the leading mark but during the landing, his hand made contact with the sand behind the spot to seal his fourth-place finish.