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Jonathan Edwards
"It was a difficult competition"
 real 14k

Monday, 25 September, 2000, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
Edwards makes golden leap
Jonathan Edwards
Edwards won gold with his third-round leap
Jonathan Edwards made up for the bitter disappointment he suffered in Atlanta by claiming gold in the triple jump.

The silver-haired Briton, who was pipped to gold by American Kenny Harrison four years ago, made no mistake this time around by jumping a fantastic 17.71m in the third round.

As he savoured his triumph, Edwards was quick to pay tribute to the people who had helped him achieve his life-long ambition, particularly his wife, Alison, and two boys.

"I don't feel like this is for me," said the world record holder. "It is for everybody who has helped me. It's not my Olympic title it's for everybody to share.

"This was very different to when I won the world title and broke the world record in 1995. This was harder. But it is very precious."

Snatched

Second behind Edwards was Cuban Yoel Garcia, who snatched the silver from Russian Denis Kapustin with a jump of 17.47m.

Larry Achike came close to grabbing bronze for Britain only to see it wrenched from his grasp in the final round.


It felt like a sideshow because of what was happening in the stadium
  Jonathan Edwards

The 25-year-old Shaftesbury Barnet athlete eventually finished in fifth place after leaping 17.29m in round one.

Another Brit, the highly promising Phillips Idowu, finished in sixth.

Edwards, who very nearly did not come to the Olympics following the death of his mother-in-law from cancer on the eve of the Games, knew instantly that his third-round jump was a big one.

Triumph

He turned to the crowd with his right arm raised in triumph and a half-smile on his face.

When the distance finally came through, it was the longest in the world this year - and 25cm further than Kapustin's second-round leap of 17.46m.

""I didn't jump particularly well. It was just hard work from beginning to end," said Edwards. "There wasn't much rhythm. It felt like a sideshow because of what was happening in the stadium."

At 34, Edwards, the world record holder, may be entering the twilight of his career but he still had too much in the tank for his younger rivals.

He said: "I thought my best chance of winning would be in Atlanta. Now here I am in Sydney four years later, 34 years old and winning the gold medal. I still can't really put together what I've done."

As for the future, Britain's triple jump pedigree looks secure with Achike and Idowu.

Established

Achike is still only 25 but is already established on the world stage while Idowu must be a good bet for a medal in Greece.

At 21, he marked himself down as tremendous prospect and covered himself in glory with his efforts in Sydney.

Complete with dyed red hair, the Belgrave athlete finished in sixth spot after registering 17.08m in the fourth round.

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See also:

25 Sep 00 |  Sports Talk
Is Edwards in a field of his own?
25 Sep 00 |  Athletics-Field
Edwards finally fulfils his potential
23 Sep 00 |  Athletics-Field
Triple success for British jumpers
13 Sep 00 |  Athletics-Field
Edwards to battle on
12 Sep 00 |  Athletics-Field
'Hurt' Edwards says sorry
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