Jonathan Edwards (athlete)

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For other persons named Jonathan Edwards, see Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan David Edwards (born May 10, 1966 in London, England) is a former British triple jumper and widely regarded as the finest triple jumper of all time. He is an Olympic champion and as of 2004 holds the world record in the event.

Edwards attended West Buckland School where his potential for the triple jump was spotted at an early age. He was a strong all-rounder and on leaving received the school's top award for sporting and academic excellence, the Fortescue Medal.

He initially refused to compete on Sundays due to his devout Christian beliefs, a decision which cost him a chance to compete in the 1991 World Championships. However in 1993, after much deliberation and discussion with his father (a vicar), he changed his mind, stating that God gave him his talent in order for him to compete. The decision proved timely, since the qualifying round at that year's World Championships took place on a Sunday. He went on to win the bronze medal.

He capped an unbeaten 1995 with a historic gold medal performance at the World Championships. On his first jump, he became the first man to legally pass the 18-metre barrier (18.16 m). That record lasted for about 20 minutes. His second jump of 18.29 m made him the first to jump 60 feet. Later the same year Edwards became the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

During 1996 Edwards went into the Olympic games as favorite and world record holder, but it was American Kenny Harrison who took the gold with a jump of 18.09 m. Edwards walked away with the silver, but some have speculated that one of the jumps he fouled on could have been the longest ever recorded, or at least won him the gold. Edwards won the gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games, and was awarded the CBE shortly afterwards. He also won golds at the 2001 World Championships and 2002 Commonwealth Games. He retired after the 2003 World Championships as Great Britain's most medalled athlete.

Following his retirement, Edwards has pursued a media career. He is currently a television presenter mainly working for the BBC as a sports commentator and on programmes such as Songs of Praise.

Major achievements

External links

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