“The seven foot barrier is one of those magical markers like the four-minute mile that represents a very select ‘club’ of incredible athletes,” said Troy Engle, Associate Director and Head Coach, Paralympic Track and Field.
“The fact that Jeff has joined that elite group, as a Paralympian, I can only describe as Beamon-esque – it is a feat of athlete prowess the likes of which has rarely been seen!”
In his second attempt, with both the crowd and his competitors rooting for him, Skiba cleared 2.15 meters (7 feet ½ inch) beating his previous world record of 2.10 meters (6 feet 10 ¾ inches).
“It has been my goal for the past few years to become the first amputee to clear the seven foot mark,” said Skiba “It felt great to see years of hard work pay off.”
The height is an unofficial Paralympic world record because the Asuza Invitational was not an International Paralympic Committee (IPC) sanctioned meet. Skiba will try repeating his feat and qualifying for the Paralympic Games in Beijing, China, June 12 – 15, at the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Trials – Track & Field, held at Arizona State University, Tempe Ariz.
For additional information, please contact Beth Bourgeois, U.S. Paralympics, at (719)866-2039 or firstname.lastname@example.org.