The long jump (historically called the broad jump) is a track and field event in which athletes combine speed, strength, and agility in an attempt to leap as far as possible from a take off point. Along with the triple jump, the two events that measure jumping for distance as a group are referred to as the "horizontal jumps." This event has a history in the Ancient Olympic Games and has been a modern Olympic event for men since the first Olympics in 1896 and for women since 1948.
The long jump is the only known jumping event of Ancient Greece's original Olympics' pentathlon events. All events that occurred at the Olympic Games were initially supposed to act as a form of training for warfare. The long jump emerged probably because it mirrored the crossing of obstacles such as streams and ravines. After investigating the surviving depictions of the ancient event it is believed that unlike the modern day event, athletes were only allowed a short running start. The athletes carried a weight in each hand, which were called halteres (between 1 and 4.5 kg). These weights were swung forward as the athlete jumped in order to increase momentum. It is commonly believed that the jumper would throw the weights behind him in mid-air to increase his forward momentum; however, halteres were held throughout the duration of the jump. Swinging them down and back at the end of the jump would change the athlete's center of gravity and allow the athlete to stretch his legs outward, increasing his distance. The jump itself was made from the bater ("that which is trod upon"). It was most likely a simple board placed on the stadium track which was removed after the event. The jumpers would land in what was called a skamma ("dug-up" area). The idea that this was a pit full of sand is wrong. Sand in the jumping pit is a modern invention. The skamma was simply a temporary area dug up for that occasion and not something that remained over time.
Source: Long Jump from Wikipedia
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