TO PICK A RHYTMIC song is my secret tip for competitors, revealed Filip Dittrich, director of the Open category


We interviewed Filip Dittrich, director of the Open category. We asked how he perceived his work in the new position a year ago and what we can look forward to during upcoming meeting edition. Filip is still a successful triple jumper who is not going to hang up his spikes just yet.

How do you feel about your first year in the position of director of the Open category?

It was a great experience. Although some things didn’t go as planned, I believe the second edition of the Open category was successful. I just hope I’ve learned from all the situations that happened during the meeting and we’ll make the next edition of JBL Jump Fest even better!

Is there anything that surprised you?

It was a hell of a ride. I have to admit. Lack of sleep, lots of stress, and someone constantly asking for something from you. I’d love to satisfy everyone, but unfortunately, that’s usually not possible. I struggled with that. Surprisingly, as the Open director, I also had a lot of concerns about the Elite category.

How many hours did you sleep during last year’s event?

Honestly… There weren’t many 😀. Given that the day has only 24 hours, it was necessary to make full use of those hours during the event. And just when I thought I could catch some rest after it ended, the phone rang after about two hours of sleep in the early morning, with urgency that two athletes were fighting their way into an endlessly full car with the need to unexpectedly fly out of Budapest…

Did you have the urge to put on your spikes a year ago?”

I did… I even left my spikes at home so I wouldn’t be tempted. Just to be safe 😀… I couldn’t imagine all the things I would have to deal with during the last year meeting in my new position. So the whole idea of competing took a back seat. But this year, I’d like to fix that! I want to experience that vibe again. The exact charm of the JBL Jump Fest. So if my health allows it, I’d definitely like to compete this year!

What would you recommend to triple jumpers? How to prepare for the competition and possibly beat the director?

My advice is to test the ramp well during warm-ups. From slow to a full jumps from the entire run-up. The ramp behaves differently than the traditional track. It’s necessary to time the jumps well and wait a bit longer. I hope I still kept a bit of know-how which could give me an advantage in the competition 😀. I’d also think carefully about the music. A good rhythmic song, that’s my secret tip!

What innovations are you preparing for the 2024 edition?

There are plenty of them! Certified High Jump on an elevated podium. A fantastic new website that’s already up and running. Larger stands on both sides, and a few other things. This year, we decided to skip the sprints. Unfortunately, you can’t collect world athletics ranking points on the 60m long distances. JBL Jump Fest will become a fully jumpers event this year. The segmentation into days will also be slightly modified. The first day will be dedicated to high jumpers, and the second day will the lights be on long and triple jumpers.

Is high jump becoming an important part of the JBL Jump Fest?

I believe so. At least for this year, definitely. Last year’s edition, which only took place in the Open categories, offered, in my opinion, fantastic experiences. High jump is a beautiful, dynamic event that offers a lot of emotions and twists. The audience can be very close. Fans can literally be part of the whole competition, and no matter where they stand, they can see the entire jump, the whole action.

That’s exactly the kind of event that fits perfectly into our vision of the JBL Jump Fest event.

Last year, there was a great atmosphere at the high jump, despite a few limitations the high jump venue had. This year’s edition should be even better! The Elite men’s category is being added, and the entire high jump area will be certified. It will be done completely on elevated surface that should offer high jumpers greater comfort and, hopefully, better performances.

How can athletes register for the Open category and what can they expect?

The easiest way is to visit our new website, where you can find all the information about the JBL Jump Fest and there’s also a direct link to registration, which is done through the Roster athletics portal, same as in previous years.

This year, we’ve given the opportunity for priority registration to participants from previous years, and until a certain date, there was also a discounted entry fee. So far, it looks like the right move because there aren’t many spots left in some disciplines. We are trying to teach athletes to register themselves in advance. Because there are great benefits of it. It gives more time for us and mainly for athletes to prepare properly, arrange travel plans, and everything else needed.

What are you looking forward to this year?

I’m very curious about the overall atmosphere of this year’s JBL Jump Fest, both the Open and the Elite. New venues, a fantastic atmosphere, loud and diverse music, and great performances!!! I’m really looking forward to all of that. And I’ll experience it from both sides. As an organizer and also as a competitor. At this point it looks that several athletes from previous editions will come back to compete with us again this year. I really appreciate that and hope we’ll experience together the unique emotions that the JBL Jump Fest brings. Hopefully there will be a time to have a friendly chat after the event with them.

The cherry on top for me will be the triple jump in the Elite category, where we have currently confirmed 5 athletes with a personal best over 17m at this point.

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