Quai Antoine [Monaco], Aug 9 (ANI): World Athletics Council Member Willie Banks has donated the singlet and bib number to the Heritage Collection which he wore in 1985 while setting a triple jump world record.
Banks, competing at the US Championships in Indianapolis, bounded out to 17.97m (1.5m/s) in the second round to add eight centimetres to the record Brazil's Joao Carlos de Oliveira had established 10 years before when winning the Pan American Games.
Banks' world record would similarly last a decade until surpassed by one centimetre by Jonathan Edwards in Salamanca in 1995.
Along with the donated singlet and number, the Heritage Collection has gratefully been given a bag of sand which Banks took from the pit after the competition.
"Actually, I thought I would break it again soon afterwards. It was a little frustrating not to be able to jump over 18 metres and I really wanted to be the first to break that barrier. Three centimetres!" Banks said in a World Athletics release.
Back at the Indianapolis track on July 16, 1988, Banks did become the first man to jump beyond 18 metres, and he did it twice on the same day. However, the wind readings for his 18.06m (4.9m/s) and 18.20m (5.2m/s) jumps were way beyond the allowable limit for world-record purposes (2.0m/s).
"I truly thought that I could jump over 18m. After that day in 1988, my achilles in both legs bled through to the sheath and attached itself. I could not train properly for the rest of my career. I had three surgeries, but none helped. It was quite a let down from a glorious carrier," Banks said.
"Fortunately, I am still able to look back and be proud that I was the first human ever to surpass 18 metres in any condition. I can say is I am blessed," he added. (ANI)