Not a jumping expert here, so I'd be curious to get your input. For both Beamon and Powell, were their record jumps technically perfect?
Beamon's jump was absolutely incredible for the time period. Rhythm on the runway, and the steady increase of turnover as you approach the board is a major key in taking off in the proper position. Both Beamon and Powell had great rhythm on the runway. I would say that Mike Powell was pretty damn close to technically perfect when he leapt 8.95. If you watch his jump, his hip compression before the board is quick, precise, and sends him damn near straight up into the air. There is a reason he made it to the end of the pit. Powell actually went on to jump 8.96 and 8.99 with a decent amount of illegal wind at his back.
In my mind, Lewis and Ivan Pedroso are the kings of mastering the rhythm of the approach and takeoff.
Beamon's jump was not as technical as Powell's, but I can't say anything negative about it. It was an incredible jump for any period in human history, and was probably one of the most impressive world records ever set.