When looking at what leads to success in the long jump the solution is simple... speed kills. Our data and analysis clearly shows the best relation to long jump success is the 100m dash and relatively how good you are at sprinting.
To arrive at this we tallied up everyone's (Top 25 Ranked LJ Individuals) first, second, and third relative rankings in the 100m dash, triple jump, and high hurdles. We then multiplied the firsts by three, seconds by two, and thirds by one.
The weighted points breakdown was as such:
What this information clearly showed us was that the 100m dash was more likely to correlate to long jump success than the other two events combined. Though it does not mean it is the only avenue for success, it does mean it is the best predictor of success.
Interestingly enough, though the girls had more variation throughout, the girls actually were more top heavy towards the 100m dash than the guys. A contradicting but also interesting takeaway was the fact that all six girls who competed in all three events all had the 100m dash as their worst event.
In summation, it is very safe to say that really the best way to know if someone is a great long jumper is to see their speed. Speed is a critical aspect of the long jump and physical as a whole and that is why you also see Olympians doubling in these two events.
Speed may be critical but it is also only a part of the picture. Technique, form, execution, and many other factors also go into an elite long jump. That is why it is important to have an open mind when analyzing talent and realize that sometimes a 5K runner can jump over 23' too.