Gayle continues to shine
Long Jump sensation Tajay Gayle continued his impressive form this season by posting a new personal best at the Nike Seniors Link Up Track Meet on Saturday to move into the top two in the world ranking in the event.
The August Town native leapt to 8.30 metres on a cool evening at the National Stadium, on his first attempt, to put the competition out of reach. On his second attempt, it seems as if he had moved into the 8.40m realm, a mark he admits he has been hitting consistently in training, but he was flagged for a fouled jump.
Knowing he has more chances to get it right, Gayle passed on his final two attempts and settled for the 8.30, which also ranks him third on the all-time list for Jamaicans in the event as only Alain Bailey, 8.35, and national record holder James Beckford, 8.62, have gone farther.
"I wanted to jump 8.4 but I fouled that one, so I just had to accept the 8.30. For the rest of the season, I just have to work on the takeoff and landing, because I have the speed and everything else," Gayle told STAR Sports.
Gayle's effort is only bettered by South African Luvo Manyonga's 8.35 this season, but the former Papine High School athlete is still not excited yet as he wants to see how he fares when competing with the world's best.
In two weeks he will know, as he is down to compete at the Shanghai Diamond League on May 18.
"I feel good about where I am ranked in the world right now, but I don't want to get excited yet. After the meet in Shanghai I will be able to assess myself better, because I will be competing with some of the best jumpers in the world, then I can really see where I am at in the world when I competing with them," Gayle said.
The 22-year-old finished just outside of the medals at the Commonwealth Games last year but won a silver medal at the NACAC Senior Championships.