Javier Sotomayor celebrated 30 years of his high jump world record in his hometown of Limonara. Author: rebellious youth
LEMON GROVE. Matanzas – The high jump world record remains unbeaten. This chimera is only for dreamers. On this Monday, he walked the same streets that had greeted him as a child, mingled with old friends and rejoiced that the city loved him, and vice versa.
At the 1986 World Junior Championships in Athens, Javier Sotomayor Sanabria won the gold medal with a jump of 2.36 meters and set a world record in this category.
In 1988, he broke the absolute outdoor world record with a score of 2.43 m during an athletics competition held in the Spanish city of Salamanca. In the same season, he managed to set a new outdoor world record by jumping 2.44 m at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico in July 1989.
In the same year, he installed 2.43 m on an indoor track in Budapest.
But the peak of 2.45 m occurred on July 27, 1993, precisely in the Spanish city of Salamanca, an event that attracted the attention of many sports experts who considered the feat something unusual and difficult to compare. And it’s been that way for 30 years.
Javier Sotomayor celebrated 30 years of his high jump world record in his hometown of Limonara. Photos: Limonard Government and Municipal Museum.
Returning to Limonar, where he was born, always fills him with emotions. There is the house where he was born, the elementary school, the streets where he ran, parks, cinema…, many friends. He is comfortable in this place.
Sotomayor was born in Limonar on October 13, 1967. Now, at the age of 55, the high jump king has returned to his castle: many take pictures with him, others ask for autographs, he talks to everyone, smiles and agrees to a short conversation with this newspaper.
“I am very happy that I have reached these three decades as a record holder in this discipline, and I am also proud to be able to celebrate this in my homeland, where I took my first steps in this sport. I am happy with everything that has been done in Limonar, the opening of a sports hall in the municipal museum, where there are various objects related to my sports career, in addition to the symbolic marathon of Javier Sotomayor and other events that took place during this July 24 “.
– Why didn’t you celebrate it in Salamanca, because it was a closed anniversary?
– If I celebrated it in Salamanca, I would do it with one of my children, perhaps with another person and with me, but not with my people.
– To whom did you dedicate your record 30 years ago?
– Everyone who was related to this record. First of all, my family, my teammates and coaches, the whole city that I loved and admired so much. Today I dedicate it to the same people.
– You often say that all records must be broken and that one day 2.45 will be broken. Do you think such a possibility is close?
– There are always real chances that someone will beat my record. When and by whom, I do not know, but I am convinced that one day it will happen. The hardest jump was 2.33 meters at just 16 years old, a cadet world record, which I achieved in 1984 in Havana.
Three years ago we asked Sotomayor if the fact of breaking the 2m psychological barrier was a prelude to a future champion, to which he replied that the first jump he really liked was 1.85m because he had it in his head that he would start jumping when he outgrew his height. “At the age of 13, I surpassed this indicator, became the champion of the country and felt like a real jumper. Of course, two meters gave me the opportunity to get into the youth national selection, and I began to raise the bar month after month. At the age of 14, I jumped those two meters. I improved both quantitatively and qualitatively, and within a year and seven months I was up to 2.33. That was when I came to Havana in 1982 with the acrobatic exercises that my trainers gave me, the help of a psychologist and my cooperation, which I always said I could. At only 16 years old I jumped 2.33, and the record of 2.43 was set at 20 years old. It was expected because we were working on it. Although, of course, there is nothing in life, but I had a lot of faith and confidence that I could achieve this.
In another conversation with Sotomayor in 2017, he told us that if there’s one thing he’s unhappy with, it’s that he didn’t jump 2.47. Sotomayor won a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 and a silver medal at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000. In addition, he was a multiple world champion in athletics and World Cups, winner of several Pan American Games, Central American and Caribbean Games.
Source: Juventud Rebelde