The long jump event at the INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe can now boast another attraction. Following Fabian Heinle, silver medalist at the European outdoor championships in Berlin, last year’s winner Juan Miguel Echevarria and local star Julian Howard, who came in second after the Cuban last year, have now also announced their participation. Last season, Echevarria was the measure of all things when it came to the long jump. In June, he jumped a distance of 8.83 meters at the Diamond League Meeting in Stockholm. Not a single long jumper in the world had reached this distance in more than 20 years, although it won’t appear on the leader board due to the strong wind blowing at 2.1 meters/second. Nonetheless, Echevarria highlighted his great potential with this jump and went on to confirm it at other competitions under regular conditions. To begin with, the Cuban won the Golden Spikes in Ostrava with 8.66 meters, followed by an 8.68-meter jump at the long jump meeting in Bad Langensalza, with which he set a new global record of the year. All in all, 2018 was the year of the Cuban long jump star. After his victory at the INDOOR MEETING, Echevarria clinched the title of world champion at the world indoor championships in Birmingham with a distance of 8.46 meters, winning his first major international title.
Local star Julian Howard aims to regain his former strength. His year started off well, as he snagged the long jump gold with 7.74 meters at the German championships in Dortmund, just two weeks after securing a second place at the 2018 INDOOR MEETING. Overall, however, 2018 turned into a rather disappointing long jump year for Julian Howard. At the European athletics championships in August, he didn’t even make it past the qualification stage with two void jumps and a best of just 7.64 meters. But the athlete, a member of the hosting club LG Region Karlsruhe, plans to strike again in 2019.