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Athletics at the 1980 Moskva Summer Games:

Men's Triple Jump

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Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Grand Arena, Central Lenin Stadium Area, Moskva
Date Started: July 24, 1980
Date Finished: July 25, 1980

Gold: URS Jaak Uudmäe
Silver: URS Viktor Saneyev
Bronze: BRA João Carlos de Oliveira


[Viktor Saneyev] was trying to match [Al Oerter]'s feat of winning four consecutive gold medals in the same individual event. But the favorite in 1980 was Brazil's [João Carlos de Oliveira], world record holder and twice Pan American champion. Two other contenders were [Keith Connor] (GBR) and [Ian Campbell] (AUS) – who had been 1-2 at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. The 1980 Olympics were held in Moskva, and unfortunately, the officiating was not what it should have been. Round three produced much of the drama. Jaak Uudmäe (URS/EST) jumped 17.35 (56-11¼), with de Oliveira getting 17.22 (56-6) and Saneyev at 17.04 (55-11) – all three producing their leading marks to that point. But just before Uudmäe's jump, Campbell had landed in the sand beyong the Olympic record marker (17.39 (57-0¾)), but the jump was ruled a foul that had not broken the plasticine. Pleading his case, the official told him he had dragged his foot on the step phase, which is almost impossible at that speed, and which nobody had seen. The sand was raked and the mark did not count, though observers thought it was around 17.50 (57-7). In fact, all of Campbell's remaining marks were ruled fouls. João de Oliveira also would not produce another fair jump, though observers also could not see anything wrong with his efforts, and two of his “fouls” were on very long jumps. Both times he walked away from the board, after examining it, shaking his head in frustration. The spurious officiating brought Saneyev a chance in the last round to win his fourth gold medal. He improved to 17.24 (56-6¾) to surpass de Oliveira but had to settle for silver. It was difficult for de Oliveira. But in December 1991 he was struck head-on by a drunken driver and after a nine-month battle, would lose his right leg, having it amputated below the knee. He died quite early from liver and lung disease, complications of the alcoholism which had consumed him.

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Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Jaak Uudmäe 25 Soviet Union URS Gold
2 Viktor Saneyev 34 Soviet Union URS Silver
3 João Carlos de Oliveira 26 Brazil BRA Bronze
4 Keith Connor 22 Great Britain GBR
5 Ian Campbell 23 Australia AUS
6 Atanas Chochev 23 Bulgaria BUL
7 Béla Bakosi 23 Hungary HUN
8 Ken Lorraway 24 Australia AUS
9 Yevgeny Anikin 22 Soviet Union URS
10 Milan Spasojević 30 Yugoslavia YUG
11 Armando Herrera 25 Cuba CUB
AC Christian Valétudie 28 France FRA
13 QR Ramón Cid 25 Spain ESP
14 QR Moujhed Fahid Khalifa Iraq IRQ
15 QR Abdoulaye Samba Diallo Senegal SEN
16 QR Zdzisław Hoffmann 20 Poland POL
17 QR Bogger Mushanga 28 Zambia ZAM
18 QR Henri Dagba Benin BEN
19 QR Dương Đức Thủy 19 Vietnam VIE
20 QR Arthure Agathine 19 Seychelles SEY
21 QR Yadessa Kuma 27 Ethiopia ETH
AC QR Alejandro Herrera 22 Cuba CUB
AC QR Olli Pousi 20 Finland FIN