Jumpers, from top left, Khaddi Sagnia, of Sweden, Emiliano Lasa, of Uruguay, Nathalee Aranda, of Panama, Eusebio Caceres, of Spain, Ivana Spanovic, of Serbia, Shoutarou Shiroyama, of Japan, compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. (AP Photos/Morry Gash)
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TOKYO (AP) — Every Olympic athlete who soars to the heavens as part of the “Faster, Higher, Stronger — Together” ideal eventually comes down.

A soft and sandy landing pit awaits the long jumpers and triple jumpers at the Olympic Stadium at the Tokyo Games.

And it’s always a moment of uncertainty — “How far did I go?” — as the jumpers stretch, contort and grimace while reaching for that extra centimeter in a gritty quest for a medal, or even an Olympic or world record.

These Associated Press photos capture the tension of the moment as the athletes return to Earth in a spray of sand that can leave them half buried.

The overhead photographs were taken with a robotic camera that uses remote viewing monitors and a joystick similar to a video game. The head-on shots were taken by AP photographers using hand-held cameras.


More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports