I recently purchased some old T&FN's on ebay, including the 1980 year end annual (Edwin Moses cover). In looking through the annual lists, there was a long jumper who jumper 8.06i, named Arvidas Sabonis (SU). In researching on the internet, he appears on a couple of lists, all with a brithdate of 12/19/54, including the Lithuanian Indoor Record. Arvidas Sabonis the basketball player has a listed birthdate of 12/19/64. Coincidence? If he was born in '64, he would have been 15 at the time of the jump, but it seems weird that both men would have the same name, same birthdate, exactly 10 years apart.
Funny you should mention him because I saw that he had retired. While I would have bet they were the same person, the age 15 question bothers me. He was born 12/19/64 and is 7'3. That would be a heck of a long jump for someone that tall. I'll keep trying to verify if it is indeed the same person.
Sabonis is currently a big, heavy slow guy with creaky, untrustworthy joints.... but in his prime he was a fabulous, mobile athlete. Who knows, maybe as a raw boned teenager he could have jumped 8 meters. I'd be more likely to believe he might have popped a long jump as a kid than to believe all the fabulous Wilt mythology.
Some list members have taken to debunking the part-time track and field pursuits of Messrs. Chamberlain and Brown. Neither man dedicated full attention to track, yet Charlie Tidwell,Bill Neider,Al Oerter, Bobby Mitchell and others were alive and young when the biographies and "SPORT" magazine profiles were written. Were the stories apocryphal,athletes, coaches and eyewitnesses would have balked at them. I was merely speculating (as many of these posts are "what if in 1940...or dream relay... or who would have won...speculative in nature)as to what such men could have done had they been specifically-trained, year-round trackmen. I could have done the same of Jackie Robinson.
If anyone wishes to deny that Robinson (Rose Bowl star, long jump champ, Pacific Coast basketball scoring leader,Honolulu Bear running back, L.A. Red Devil basketball player who outscored every player on the visiting Harlem Rens in an L.A. victory in 1946, All-Star second baseman after playing first base in spring training and short in the Negro Leagues),Brown (scored 38 ppg. in high school basketball on Long Island in an era was 75 pts. was a good high school team total,started for Syracuse's basketball team, was All-American in lacrosse, turned down a hefty bonus from the NY Yankees,did finish 5th in a national decathlon,NFL all-time leader in yards-per-carry,rushed for 12,312 yards despite retiring at 30)or Wilt (averaged 9 blocked shots a game at Kansas,specialized in a fadeaway jumpshot as an NBA rookie and sophomore,once led the NBA in assists,averaged 48.5 minutes a game in 1966-67,excellent volleyball player,did high jump 6'6", and did run mile relays for the Jayhawks)were not phenomenan athletes who had not the time to really focus on track, I'm open to the argument. If not,then let's leave it where it is.
>In looking through the annual lists,
>there was a long jumper who jumper 8.06i, named
>Arvidas Sabonis (SU). In researching on the
>internet, he appears on a couple of lists, all
>with a brithdate of 12/19/54, including the
>Lithuanian Indoor Record. Arvidas Sabonis the
>basketball player has a listed birthdate of
>12/19/64. Coincidence? If he was born in '64,
>he would have been 15 at the time of the jump
If it was him, he'd still have the world age-15 and 16 best today (the actual current age bests are 7.87 and 8.03, respectively). Since he doesn't, I suppose it couldn't have been the same person.