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German long jump champion, a Paralympian, left off European Championships roster

Jul 30, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT

Ulm German Athletics Championships Getty Images

Markus Rehm won the German long jump title last weekend. Rehm was not selected to compete for Germany at the biggest meet of the year, the European Championships in Zurich, Switzerland, in two weeks.

It’s news because Rehm jumps off a prosthetic leg, which the German track and field federation deemed may give him a competitive advantage.

The federation’s president, Clemens Prokop, said Rehm’s prosthetic leg might give him a “catapult effect” for longer jumps, according to The Associated Press.

Tests were performed before the German team was named to determine if Rehm gained a competitive advantage from running with and jumping off a prosthetic leg.

Rehm is the 2012 Paralympic long jump champion. Rehm jumped a career best 8.24m to win the German championship on Saturday, making him the No. 9 man in the world this year.

How good is 8.24m in the long jump? That distance placed fifth at the 2013 World Championships and would have won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics.

Germany’s biggest track and field star, Olympic discus champion Robert Harting, reportedly proposed that Rehm jump off his sound left leg instead of his right prosthetic one.

The story is reminiscent of South African 400m runner and Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius, who fought to be able to compete at able-bodied World Championships and the Olympics.

Here’s Rehm’s winning jump from the German National Championships.

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  1. doctorrustbelt - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    I hope he doesn’t shoot anyone.

  2. kando53 - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    I truly sympathize with people who have to deal with using prosthetic limbs, but when they can play such a large part in competition they should not be allowed. There is absolutely no way they can be considered the equivalent of human limbs, and even competition between people all using them could be completely skewed by some simply having better technology to manufacture theirs.

    • mogogo1 - Jul 31, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      I recently saw a show where somebody built an exoskeleton suit with legs very similar to this that allowed the wearer to jump 15 feet into the air. What they’re going to need to do is on a case-by-case basis determine who competes well in spite of having prosthetics and who competes well BECAUSE of prosthetics.

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