(Los Angeles) American Ralph Boston, Olympic long jump champion in 1960 in Rome, has died at the age of 83, the American national athletics federation announced on Sunday.
With a jump of 812 meters, Ralph Boston had won his only Olympic title at the age of 21 – for three medals in total, silver in Tokyo in 1964 and bronze in Mexico in 1968 – while beating the Olympic record then held by Jesse Owens since the Berlin Games (1936).
He had previously broken Owens’ world record by jumping 821m in August 1960 in Walnut, California.
“I am devastated by the passing of Ralph Boston,” said Carl Lewis, track and field legend with four Olympic titles in the long jump, for whom Boston had “a great influence on (his) life”.
“Jumpers, know his name!” ” he added.
Boston died of a stroke, USA Track and Field said in a statement.
“Our sport has lost a legend […]. The greatest long jumper of his time, Boston broke the world record six times and was a member of the first-ever United States Track and Field Hall of Fame, the federation said.