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banner Tuesday, 7 August, 2001, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Edwards' leap of faith
Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards gave Britain its first taste of gold in Edmonton with a stunning performance in the triple jump.

The Gateshead athlete produced a jump of 17.92 metres in the third round to put him into a massive lead which was never in any danger of being threatened.

Not since his world record jump of 18.29 metres in Gothenberg in 1995 has the phrase one giant leap for mankind been illustrated at a major championships.

Few people realise the sheer extent of his talent.

His jump is slightly longer than the length of four average family saloon cars all parked in a line.

And it is the equivalent of a footballer leaping comfortably over the entire 18-yard box on a football pitch.

I am competitive and I enjoy competing, andI wanted to maintain my position as world number one.
  Jonathan Edwards

It would be close to exceeding the length of two double buses and 10 fully-grown males all lined up next to the pit lengthways.

Edwards beat his closest rival Christian Olsson, of Sweden, by nearly half-a-metre.

The remarkable margin of victory illustrates just how much better he is than his rivals.

He has shown that, even at the age of 35, he can continue to dominate the triple jump event for years to come.

Last September in Sydney, he won a well-deserved Olympic gold with a jump of 17.71m.

But his jump in Edmonton put his exploits in Sydney in the shade.

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