Brumel dominated the era and was a nails competitor, that is certain. His 7'5 3/4" jump was one of the most memorable feats in HJ history. But even Brumel was not untouchable --remember, he only won on misses against Thomas at the '64 Games. And, his WR did not stand as long as Soto's 8 footer already has. When two equally great athletes jump against one another, size counts. Brumel could have been 3-4 inches superior to Soto at raising his center of gravity and Soto still wins just on the basis of body ht.
>Brumel's WR did not stand as
>long as Soto's 8 footer already has.
Quite true, but no one has invented a new and better way of jumping. How many straddlers have ever jumped higher than Brumel? Last I counted, just one. (T&FN should learn Chinese and change their records to show Ni Zhiqin instead of Chih-chin Ni.) No one has answered my question of how many undefeated seasons Soto put together. I'm just doing it off the top of my head, but I think Brumel had four.
I never said that this was an idealized competition. I placed them in order based on how they competed against their peers. Brumel lost only one major competition, when he was still a teenager. Soto lost many more than that.
uh, weren't Yashchenko and the East German dude (Rolf Beirschmidt - spelling is wrong) at marks significantly higher than Brumel
in the Boston Public Library main reading room there sits a very dusty old training book on the shelves from 1980 written by the Italian Sports Federation on how to train "like a pro" in all of the different events. A first glance might offer some "ooh, aahs" at the great frame photos of a Pietro Mennea start. But far more interesting is the section on high jump, where there is a detailed test based on height, flexibility, and speed on which style to choose. For the straddle there are great hand-drawn sketches of Yashchenko clearing about 7-6. What a graceful style compared to the flop.
>The "only" drug that he tested positive for was
>cocaine and that was heavily disputed. Either
>way, it is not performance enhancing so it's not
>relevant to this discussion>>
Not so, grasshopper. First, I agree with you that cocaine is not performance-enhancing, and I don't think it should be on any banned list (by track). Soto's positive weas "heavily disputed" only by Soto and the Cuban Federation. Just like everybody else from every other country shouts innocence to the rooftops.
That 2-year sentence (from the Pan-Am Games of '99) was commuted in time for him to compete again in '01. I think it safe to say that the influence of Alberto Juantorena as a member of the IAAF Council played no small part in that.
But poor El Caballo! The Horse backed the wrong horse!
In July of '01 Soto turned up positive for nandralone at a meet in Spain. Before that was made public, Soto announced his retirement, even though shorlty before he had said he would continue at least another year. When that positive was announced there was only muted whinging from the Cuban camp.
Well, it one thing to say the Soto is one of the "dirtiest" athletes ever, but who in the past 40 years do we point to as absolutely clean? The comparison that drew that remark was Brumel vs. Soto. Do we presume that Brumel was untainted by the old Soviet sports medicine system?
As for Yaschencko and Beilschmidt, they WERE incredible to watch and produced some amazing performances. As for consistency, according to Geoff Nelson's research, Rolf Beilschmidt jumped 7' 2 5/8" or higher 89 times...Yikes!