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  • High Jump Differentials

    Looking at the Men's HJ Rankings I am struck with how tall these jumpers are:
    Freitag 6'8.75
    Holm 5'11.25
    Rybakov 6'4.25
    Mason 6'1.5

    yet they all jumped within 2cm of each other, between 7'8 and 7'8.75

    That represents differentials of between 11.75" and 21.5" !!

    It's almost as if Mother Nature compensates for one's height with one's vertical jumping ability so it all comes out the same in the end. Very odd.

  • #2
    Re: High Jump Differentials

    Interesting observations. I have always wondered about how tall it is useful to be in the H.J.
    I don't think it is adventageous to be much over 6'6'. I sometimes think that Freitag is a bit lumbering in his run so maybe he has to watch his weight in the future. Clinger who is even taller is very up and down. Holm on the other hand compensates for lack of height with extreme athleticism but I don't think he would mind being 6'1" instead of 5'11"
    Yes, Tafnut you knew what you were doing picking Brits in the P.V. I thought Lobinger.

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    • #3
      Re: High Jump Differentials

      about 6'4" 3/4 and around 176 pounds is the ideal size for a High jumper, or so the record books show.

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      • #4
        Re: High Jump Differentials

        I'm not sure there is a ht. where tallness becomes a disadvantage to a high jumper... the combination of size, quickness and coordination is what counts. The statistically ideal build may be just short of 2 meters and 176 lbs, but a slow, clumsy jumper at that size would still not be any good. What I AM sure of is that the quickness and coordination advantage of being only five-eleven and 1/4 in no way balances the advantages of being tall! Like many other shortish (or downright small) jumpers, Holm is spectacularly athletic and fun to watch and admire. But would he be better if he were taller? Of course.
        P.S. Who were the best small high jumpers of all time? Jacobs, of course, and Holm and Noji... and among old-time straddlers, Eddie Hanks. Anyone know of other spectacular short jumpers who wouldn't have made the big time lists? And who was the best female in ht/clearance differential?

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        • #5
          Re: High Jump Differentials

          Hollis was a great "short" jumper being at most 6', and for women the best height over head was I believe Jolanda Henry, who jumped 6'6"3/4 (2.00) at a height of 5'6" not certain of that though.

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          • #6
            Re: High Jump Differentials

            Bakogianni jumped 6'8 in '96, listed at 5'7.

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            • #7
              Re: High Jump Differentials

              > I am not sure there is a ht. where tallness >becomes a disadvantage to a high jumper...the >combination of size, quickness and coordination >is what counts.

              I totally agree but coordination is not usually the strong suit of extremely tall high jumpers.
              All the leading women currently jumping seems to be around 5'11" to 6'. Bergqvist at 5'9" is among the shorter jumpers among the very top.
              Among "short" male jumpers there is also former Canadian record holder Milt Ottey who is 5'10" and jumped 2.33.

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              • #8
                Re: High Jump Differentials

                You're right, Per. I think (but I'm not 100% sure) that it's been scientifically proven that the taller people get, the less co-ordinated they become. So, there must be some sort of optimal height for HJ'ers.

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                • #9
                  Re: High Jump Differentials

                  Yeah, that's why Michael Jordan was such a spazz at 6'6.

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                  • #10
                    Re: High Jump Differentials

                    The record for height differential (between height of jumper and height of jump) is 59cm. Franklin Jacobs (at a mere 1.73m) jumped 2.32m back in 1978. Others include:

                    58cm Rick Noji (1.73m tall, 2.31m jump)
                    58cm Anton Riepl (1.75m tall, 2.33m jump)
                    57cm Hollis Conway (1.83m tall, 2.40m jump)
                    56cm Takahiro Kimino (1.76m tall, 2.32m jump)
                    56cm Sorin Matei (1.84m tall, 2.40 jump)
                    56cm Charles Austin (1.84m tall, 2.40m jump)
                    55cm Milton Ottey (1.78m tall, 2.33m jump)
                    55cm Stefan Holm (1.81m tall, 2.36m jump)
                    54cm Takashi Katamine (1.73m tall, 2.27m jump)


                    However, the problem with stats like this is the source of the info - eg, the accuracy of the athletes' heights. For example, Bulgarian Georgi Dakov is 1.84m in some lists and 1.96m in others!

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                    • #11
                      Re: High Jump Differentials

                      Isn't Steffan Strand (ex-U Minn.) also vertically challenged?

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                      • #12
                        Re: High Jump Differentials

                        >Isn't Steffan Strand (ex-U Minn.) also vertically challenged?



                        At 6ft 2", he's probably shorter than most HJ'ers, but not quite 'vertically challenged'.

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                        • #13
                          Re: High Jump Differentials

                          At 6ft 2", he's probably shorter than most HJ'ers, but not quite 'vertically challenged'.

                          Jon is right. Interestingly though, the new Swedish wonderboy, Linus Thornblad is listed at under 5'11" (1.80). He is, however not quite 19 so maybe he'll grow a bit. Since Kajsa also is not especially tall at 5'9" one almost have to wonder if the Swedes are on to something!

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                          • #14
                            Re: High Jump Differentials

                            Isn't the individual's center of gravity important also? Sure, height factors in, diminishing returns in certain areas, etc,. but this could be why things seem to even out.

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                            • #15
                              Re: High Jump Differentials

                              I wonder what the vert of the world's best HJ-ers is. You hear about bballers with 48+. What's the reality here?

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