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His winning leap of 8.55 m (28 ft 0 He also won the 100 m with relative ease.
His relatively modest best from 1979 (10.67 s) improved to a world-class 10.21 the next year.an event which Lewis had not entered, but even there he was partly in Lewis' shadow as Lewis had set an American record in that event earlier that year.He won the 200 m on June 19 at the TAC/Mobil Championships in 19.75 s, the second-fastest time in history and the low-altitude record, only 0.03 s behind Pietro Mennea's 1979 mark.Many colleges tried to recruit Lewis, and he chose to enroll at the University of Houston where Tom Tellez was coach.Tellez would thereafter remain Lewis' coach for his entire career.He repeated his number one ranking in the 100 m and long jump, and ranked number six in the 200 m.
Additionally, he was named Athlete of the Year by Track and Field News.
Lewis worked with Tellez and adapted his technique so that he was able to jump without pain, and he went on to win the 1980 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) title with a wind-assisted jump of 8.35 m (27 ft 4 Though his focus was on the long jump, he was now starting to emerge as a talent in the sprints.
Comparisons were beginning to be made with Jesse Owens, who dominated sprint and long jump events in the 1930s.
He set world records in the 100 m, 4 × 100 m and 4 × 200 m relays, while his world record in the indoor long jump has stood since 1984.
His 65 consecutive victories in the long jump achieved over a span of 10 years is one of the sport's longest undefeated streaks.
From 1981 until 1992, Lewis topped the 100 m ranking six times (seven if Ben Johnson's 1987 top ranking is ignored), and ranked no lower than third.