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JUMPERS AIMING TO FLOP PERFECTLY: YOUNG SCOTS TO BE TUTORED BY INVENTOR OF FOSBURY FLOP
High jump legend Dick Fosbury - the man who revolutionised high jumping with his back-first technique nicknamed the “Fosbury Flop” - will visit Scotland in May to share his expertise, including the evolution of the skill, in a question and answer session with Bank of Scotland Talented Young Athletes High Jump Squad athletes at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow.
Civil engineeringgraduate Fosbury, the 1968 Olympic high jump gold medallist, set a new Olympic record at the time when he leapt an incredible 2.24m at the Mexico City Games and introduced the athletics world to the now-famous technique.
He had disliked the previously dominant style of the time, the “straddle method”, and at the age of 16 began experimenting with the outdated “upright scissors” method which he developed to his own specification.
Today the “Fosbury Flop” is the only technique used by international high jumpers.
Fosbury, now the co-owner of Galena Engineering, Inc in Idaho, said: “In October 2008 we celebrated the 40 year anniversary of the Mexico City Olympic Games where I won my gold medal. It is extremely flattering that today the high jump technique that I developed so long ago is used almost exclusively by all high jumpers. This is my contribution to our sport and I was lucky enough to have this style named after me.
”I have never been to Scotland before so am really looking forward to my visit to Glasgow next month, and also to the opportunity to share my thoughts on the discipline of high jump with the Bank of Scotland Talented Young Athletes High Jump Squad and their coaches. I started experimenting with this technique, transforming the Scissors style, when I was in high school. At that time everyone else was using the Western Roll or Straddle techniques. The starting point of my discussion will be “Why did Fosbury Flop?”
Darren Ritchie, Scottish National Events Manager for Jumps and Combined Events, added: “This is a historic opportunity for our Scottish coaches and athletes to meet the person who has revolutionised the high jump.
During our National Development weekends we have looked at the high jump technique in Championships from various athletes from the ‘western roll’ to the ‘Fosbury Flop’, so it’s going to be great to meet the person who introduced the technique to the sport.”
Sarah Cran, Head of Sponsorship for Bank of Scotland, commented: “Meeting with a track and field legend such as Dick Fosbury can only inspire these young athletes. The participating athletes are at the ideal age to have ambitions of competing at the 2012 London Olympics and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, that is why initiatives like this are so important.”
The Bank of Scotland High Jump Development Squad is made up of talented young athletes selected according to National Development selection guidelines. The overall objectives of the Bank of Scotland National Development programme are:
· Provide a “stretch experience” that will significantly and positively influence coach and athletes transition in performance development stages.
· Offer access to the best coaching, facilities and resources available.