An interesting video of Kenyan high school high jumpers has so far garnered over 1.5 million views in a little over a week on youtube. The video shows two boys clearing 6.56 feet which is quite an accomplishment for a high school high jump competition but certainly not that special enough to get over a million people clicking to see this on youtube.
What is special about this video, however, is the technique used by the two students, believed to be Maasai. The video was shot in Mosoriot in the Rift valley of Kenya. The two boys are seen using the rare front first technique which has not been seen on the Olympic and world stage for decades. Almost every international athlete uses the Fosbury flop made known to the world by the American athlete Dick Fosbury in Mexico 1968.
Landing surfaces obviously play a role in the extent to which the Fosbury technique can be used. High jumpers landing on sandpits or low piles of matting have no choice but to land on their feet to prevent injury. With that in mind, I wonder if these students would have used the Fosbury technique had they had deep foam matting to land on or are we seeing a new technique of high jumping that could, just as the Fosury flop did, take over on the world stage or at the very least capture the imagination of the high jumping community?