As the International Association of Athletics Federation's (IAAF) live updates ahead of the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm vouchsafe, intrepidly and unsleepingly, there have been two rather interesting developments connected with the men’s long jump competition.
Firstly - the long jump pit, through which the sands of time have run since the Olympic Stadium was built to host the 1912 Games, has been extended. Construction workers were reported to be working, constructively, upon it on the eve of competition.
There is a quote given from the meeting director, Jan Kowalski: "It was quite tight so we extended it a little more than half a metre…it will definitely give a good chance to do nine metres or more."
Secondly - the man who has, thus far, got closest to long-jumping nine metres - falling just five centimetres short - is in Stockholm to witness this year’s competition in his world record event. Yes, the ever effervescent Mike Powell of the United States.
The reason for these two circumstances can be expressed in a short sentence: Juan Miguel Echevarria is back.
Stockholm is a beautiful place to watch athletics. The 1912 Olympic Stadium, with its brick towers and ivied castellations, its human scale and its sylvan setting, is like nowhere else.
In this very space, albeit not on this very track, Ralph Craig of the United States won the 100 and 200 metres double, Finland’s Hannes Kolehmainen won the 5,000m and 10,000ms double and Jim Thorpe won the pentathlon and decathlon double.
(Before the IOC took them away from him because he had received payments for playing baseball earlier in his sporting career and then returned them 30 years after his death.)
It was also the space where Albert Gutterson of the US claimed the long jump title with an Olympic record of 7.60 metres, finishing more than half-a-metre clear of his closest challenger.
One hundred and six year later - that’s 2018 I very much hope - the 20-year-old Echevarria landed in the sand at 8.83m.
It was the farthest jumped since his fellow Cuban, Iván Pedroso, had recorded 8.96m in 1995.
But frustratingly, as with Pedroso's jump, his effort was achieved with a following wind in excess of the 2 metres per second (mps) allowable level for record purposes – in his case just 0.1 mps over.
That meant Echevarria could not take his place on the all-time world list behind the illustrious American trio of Powell, Bob Beamon and Carl Lewis, and the Soviet Union's Robert Emmiyan,
It was, nevertheless, a dizzying indicator of potential.
There can be no more graphic testament to an athlete’s prowess than the authorities having to physically alter the parameters in which they operate.
Strictly speaking, the javelin world record throw of 104.80ms achieved by East Germany’s Uwe Hohn in 1984 - the first to break 100m - was not the reason why the IAAF, in 1986, moved the centre of gravity four centimetres forward in standard javelins with the effect of shortening distances achieved.
The idea had been officially posed beforehand - partly in order to make the spears more ready to dip instead of landing flat, which led to flat landings that were hard to adjudge.
But the fact that Hohn was now capable of hurling the spear into the crowd in some stadiums added serious acceleration to those plans - to the point where his world record now sails on for ever, like a discarded satellite.
Early last year Echevarria had been an unexpected winner at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, beating South Africa’s world outdoor champion and Rio 2016 silver medallist Luvo Manyoga.
Earlier this year, in Havana, he recorded 8.92m - but this time with a small gale blowing at his back, registering 3.3mps.
Point being, he’s there or thereabouts. Which is why it could be a very photogenic occasion to have Powell present in the 1912 Olympic Stadium.
Powell himself told the IAAF that he felt Echevarria was "a good kid," adding: "I cheer for him. Technique-wise he is great. He’s taller than me and that scares me. Speed times height equals distance. He’s tall, he’s fast and he can jump…
"The thing I like about him, he goes for it, and that’s what you need. I love the way he jumps."
Echevarria certainly is a good kid. I interviewed him in Monaco before last year’s IAAF World Athlete of the Year awards night. He was a light-hearted livewire. But serious at heart.
As a young athlete his performances would suffer because he had trouble concentrating.
"I had problems with my mental control," he said. "I was very hyperactive and I didn’t focus enough on competition."
He added that he hadn’t become "the real Echevarria" until the year before his breakthroughs at Birmingham and Stockholm.
"There was a change in my life in 2017 when my mother Luciana passed away. This changed things for me, this was when the real Echevarria emerged and I started to focus more and have some really good results.
"My mother was everything for me, she gave me life, together with my father she raised me and my siblings. Sometimes the times were hard. Sometimes I was not always ready to work, didn’t like getting up in the morning to train.
"But she was always there pushing me, motivating me. I’m the person I am now thanks to her. I do hope she is now happy with all I am achieving. It really is all thanks to my mother."
If Echevarria were to get the world record today, of course, everyone would be happy. Things rarely work out so conveniently in sport. Or in life. But you do get the feeling that if it isn’t now, the day will come sooner rather than later.