Irving Saladino
Irving Saladino, Gold Medalist at Athletics World Championship 2007
Personal information
Full nameIrving Jahir Saladino Aranda[1]
Born (1983-01-23) January 23, 1983 (age 38)[1]
Colón, Colón Province, Panamá[1]
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Weight70 kg (154 lb)[1]
Country Panama
SportMen's Athletics
Event(s)Long jump
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)Long jump: 8.73 m

Irving Jahir Saladino Aranda (born January 23, 1983) is a Panamanian former long jumper. He was Olympic champion, having won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and is Panama's first and only Olympic gold medalist. He was world champion in the long jump in 2007. He represented his country at three straight Olympics, from 2004 to 2012, and competed at four World Championships in Athletics from 2005 to 2011.

Amongst his honours are a silver medal from the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships and gold medals at the Pan American Games, Central American and Caribbean Games, Central American Games, South American Games, the IAAF World Cup and the Ibero-American Championships in Athletics. He holds a long jump best of 8.73 m (28 ft 7+12 in), set in 2008. He ranks in the all-time top ten for the event.[2] He had the longest jumps in the world in the 2006 and 2008 seasons.


Saladino was born in Colón, Colón Province, Panama. At the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships he finished second with a new South American indoor record of 8.29 metres. In 2006 he won five (Oslo, Rome, Zurich, Brussels, Berlin) out of six Golden League events in the same season, which earned him a total of $83,333. His only defeat was in Paris where he was second. With 8.56 metres achieved in May 2006 he became the South American record holder.

The 2006 world leader in the long jump, Saladino launched his 2007 season with the farthest leap of the year, 8.53 m (−0.2 m/s wind), to capture the victory at the "Grande Prêmio Rio Caixa de Atletismo", held in Rio de Janeiro on May 13, 2007. On 24 May 2008, Saladino achieved a new personal record. During the FBK Games in Hengelo, Saladino jumped with his first attempt to 8.73 m (+1.2 m/s wind).

He carried the flag for his native country at the opening ceremony of the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On 30 August 2007 Saladino became the World Champion in Osaka. He led with the mark of 8.30 metres from his second attempt, then improved to 8.46 m, until the penultimate jump of the contest, when he was overtaken by Andrew Howe who set as mark 8.47 m. Saladino was able to earn the gold medal on the last attempt of the contest, in which he jumped 8.57 m.

Saladino competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, where he made history in Central America and his country, Panama, by winning the gold medal in the long jump competition on 18 August 2008, with a jump of 8.34 meters, giving Panama their first Olympic medal since the 1948 Summer Olympics, and their first gold ever.[3] This is also the first Olympic gold medal ever won in a men's event by an athlete from Central America.

On 21 August 2008 after winning Olympic gold, he arrived to Panama a national hero. Government offices and public schools were closed in honor of him. At a welcoming ceremony, Panamanian boxing legend Roberto Durán presented the Olympic gold medal to Irving Saladino for a second time. Martin Torrijos, President of Panama, announced a decree to name a sports facility in the Villa Deportiva in Juan Díaz after Saladino and granted a check to him for 50,000 U.S. dollars. Also, Ruben Blades performed the song "Patria" (Motherland) in front of thousands of cheering Panamanians.

Saladino qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics and he was chosen to be Panama's flag bearer.[4] He was eliminated early after underperforming due to injury.

Saladino's performances declined after the 2011, and although he managed to clear 8.16 m (26 ft 9+14 in) in the 2014 season, he announced his retirement that August.[5]

Personal bests

International competitions

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Panama
2002 Central American Junior Championships (U20) Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala 1st Long jump 7.51 m
1st Triple jump 14.48 m
Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships (U-20) Bridgetown, Barbados 3rd Long jump 7.39 m (-0.2 m/s)
6th Triple jump 14.38 m (wind: +0.5 m/s)
World Junior Championships Kingston, Jamaica 10th (q) Long jump 7.30 m (wind: -0.5 m/s)
Central American Championships San José, Costa Rica 1st Long jump 7.18 m
2nd Triple jump 14.51 m
3rd 4 × 100 m relay 42.86
2003 South American Championships Barquisimeto, Venezuela 3rd Long jump 7.46 m (wind: +0.1 m/s)
2004 South American Under-23 Championships Barquisimeto, Venezuela 1st Long jump 7.74 m (-0.2 m/s)
Olympic Games Athens, Greece 36th (q) Long jump 7.42 m (0.8 m/s)
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 6th Long jump 8.20 m w (wind: +2.8 m/s)
2006 World Indoor Championships Moscow, Russia 2nd Long jump 8.29 m AR
Ibero-American Championships Ponce, Puerto Rico 1st Long jump 8.42 m (wind: -0.4 m/s)
Central American and Caribbean Games Cartagena, Colombia 1st Long jump 8.29 m (wind: +0.0 m/s)
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 1st Long jump 8.41 m (wind: +0.4 m/s)
World Cup Athens, Greece 1st Long jump 8.26 m (wind: +0.3 m/s)
2007 Pan American Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1st Long jump 8.28 m (wind: -0.5 m/s)
World Championships Osaka, Japan 1st Long jump 8.57 m AR (0.0 m/s)
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 1st Long jump 8.34 m (-0.3 m/s)
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 4th Long jump 8.16
2010 World Indoor Championships Doha, Qatar 12th (q) Long jump 7.80 m
Central American Games Panama City, Panama 1st Long jump 8.19 m GR (0.0 m/s)
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 22nd (q) Long jump 7.84 m (wind: +0.2 m/s)
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom Long jump NM
2013 Central American Games San José, Costa Rica 1st Long jump 7.99 m (wind: -0.4 m/s)
South American Championships Cartagena, Colombia 3rd Long jump 7.94 m (wind: +1.5 m/s)
2014 World Indoor Championships Sopot, Poland 11th (q) Long jump 7.94 m
South American Games Santiago, Chile 1st Long jump 8.16 m (wind: -0.5 m/s)


  1. ^ a b c d e Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Irving Saladino". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  2. ^ Top Lists All Time Men's Long Jump. IAAF. Retrieved on 2016-07-19.
  3. ^ Saladino leaps into history with Panama's first Athletics gold Archived 2008-08-22 at the Wayback Machine, Official Olympics site
  4. ^ "Campeón olímpico Saladino será abanderado de Panamá para Londres-2012". AFP (in Spanish). Terra. 2012-07-10. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  5. ^ Minshull, Phil (2014-08-07). Adios Irving! Saladino announces his retirement. IAAF. Retrieved on 2016-07-19.
Sporting positions Preceded byDwight PhillipsLouis Tsatoumas Men's Long Jump Best Year Performance20062008 Succeeded byLouis TsatoumasDwight Phillips Olympic Games Preceded byJesika Jiménez Flagbearer for  PanamaLondon 2012 Succeeded byAlonso Edward