Panama's Irving Jahir Saladino Aranda competes during the men's long jump final at the "Bird's Nest" National Stadium during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 18, 2008. Saladino took gold.[ Agencies]
BEIJING--Irving Saladino became on Monday evening the national hero for Panama by winning the tiny country its first Olympic gold medal.
Saladino reached 8.34 meters in the men's long jump at the Beijing Olympics. Before the victory in Beijing, Panama only had two bronze medals both won by Lloyd LaBeach in the men's 100m and 200m sprints in 1948.
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