It’s a long jump to London

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Photo on left: Tyrone Smith competing in 2008, by Pam Francis

For many athletes, getting one opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

 But after getting that first chance to compete on the world’s biggest stage in Beijing four years ago, Tyrone Smith, who earned his history degree from S&T in 2007, set his sights on making it back and taking another step in his career — one that he hopes will land him on the awards stand in London this summer.

Follow Smith’s progress on Twitter.

Smith has qualified for his second Olympic Games in the long jump and will take part in the two-week competition that begins July 27. As was the case four years ago, Smith will compete for his native country of Bermuda, where he was born and lived until age 6, when he moved to the United States.

He is the national record holder in Bermuda in the long jump, setting the mark of 8.22 meters (26 feet, 11 3/4 inches) and winning the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico. Smith won that meet again the following year before competing in the World Championships in South Korea and posting a top jump of 7.91 meters (25-11 1/2), the same mark he posted in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Smith finished in 15th place in the long jump in China, missing the finals by only 3 centimeters. He says he learned a critical lesson from that meet that he now carries over into every competition.

“I’ve grown quite a bit both physically and mentally since Beijing,” Smith says. “I’m a much better student of my event now and am strong and fast enough to execute what I have learned. One big lesson I learned is never waste a jump. I did that on the first round jump in Beijing and then missed the final by 3 centimeters. That won’t happen again.”

Smith’s dream is not only to make the finals in London, but to also win a medal. His personal best of 8.22 meters would have been good enough to earn a bronze medal in Beijing and is only 0.05 meters off the top jump that was recorded by Greece’s Louis Tsatoumas.

Earlier this season, Smith was slowed by some injury issues, but he feels that he is rounding into form at the right time. Competition is set to begin with the preliminary rounds on Friday, Aug. 3. The finals will take place the following day.

by John Kean

Meet more outstanding S&T grads featured in the 2010 “30 Under 30” issue of Missouri S&T Magazine.

Comments

  1. Will Brown says:

    He’s also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

  2. Cathy Williams says:

    GO TYRONE !!!

  3. Roberta Morgan says:

    It’s great to have athletes to follow during the Olympics! Great job Tyrone!

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