Gold medal distances in the triple jump at the Summer Olympics 1896-2016

The triple jump has been a permanent fixture in the men's Olympic schedule since 1896, and the women's event was added to the Olympic calendar one hundred years later in the Atlanta Games of 1996. The men's Olympic record was set by the US' Kenny Harrison in 1996, with a jump of 18.09 meters (Mike Conley's winning jump in 1992 is not considered an Olympic record, as there was a wind assistance of 2.1 meters per second), and the men's world record was set by Great Britain's Jonathan Edwards in 1995, with his jump of 18.29 meters. The women's world record of 15.5 meters was set by Ukraine's Inessa Kravets in 1995 (one year before the first women's Olympic triple jump event), and the Olympic record for women was set by Cameroon's Françoise Mbango in 2008, with her jump of 15.39 meters. The Soviet Union's Viktor Saneyev is the sport's most successful Olympian, winning three consecutive golds and a silver between 1968 and 1980, while four other males and one female athlete have also won two back-to-back golds; this includes current Olympic champion Christian Taylor, who could go on to claim a third consecutive gold in Tokyo 2020. The United States has had the most success in the event, with eight golds in total.

1980 controversy

The 1980 Summer Olympics were already shrouded in controversy following the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, leading to a US-led boycott of 66 nations. Because of this boycott, the Soviet Union would go on to win 80 out of 204 gold medals; however there were also accusations of foul play by officials in the men's diving and triple jump events. In the triple jump, it was ruled that Australia's Ian Campbell had committed a foul in five of his six jumps, while Brazil's world record holder João Carlos de Oliveira was deemed to have fouled four times. Both men had jumped further than the leader on several occasions, but despite the athletes' protestations and independent officials' disagreements, the Soviet judges upheld the decisions and the gold and silver medals went to two Soviet athletes (de Oliveira took the bronze, and Campbell finished in fifth). There were also suggestions that the plasticine (used to determine whether a jump was foul or not) had been tampered with following one of Campbell's jumps, as the mark was not on the side of the board where his foot would have taken off from.

Gold medal winning distances in the Men's and Women's triple jump at the Summer Olympics from 1896 to 2016

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Release date




Survey time period

1896 to 2016

Supplementary notes

This data was collected using the official site, as well as a spreadsheet from the Guardian that includes data from 1896-2008 (available here), 2012 and 2016 data was compared with that from Encyclopaedia Britannica, and several news outlets were used to update the table when medals were reassigned (i.e. for doping offenses).

The winning athletes (male listed first) and their represented countries are as follows:
1896 - James Connolly (US)
1900 - Meyer Prinstein (US)
1904 - Meyer Prinstein (US)
1908 - Tim Ahearne (Great Britain)
1912 - Gustav Lindblom (Sweden)
1920 - Vilho Tuulos (Finland)
1924 - Nick Winter (Australia)
1928 - Mikio Oda (Japan)
1932 - Chuhei Nambu (Japan)
1936 - Naoto Tajima (Japan)
1948 - Arne Ahman (Sweden)
1952 - Adhemar Da Silva (Brazil)
1956 - Adhemar Da Silva (Brazil)
1960 - Jozef Schmidt (Poland)
1964 - Jozef Schmidt (Poland)
1968 - Viktor Saneyev (Soviet Union)
1972 - Viktor Saneyev (Soviet Union)
1976 - Viktor Saneyev (Soviet Union)
1980 - Jack Uidmäe (Soviet Union)
1984 - Alfredrick Alphonzo Joyner (US)
1988 - Khristo Markov (Bulgaria)
1992 - Mike Conley (US)
1996 - Kenny Harrison (US) & Inessa Kravets (Ukraine)
2000 - Jonathan Edwards (Great Britain) & Tereza Marinova (Bulgaria)
2004 - Christian Olsson (Sweden) & Françoise Mbango Etone (Cameroon)
2008 - Nelson Evora (Portugal) & Françoise Mbango Etone (Cameroon)
2012 - Christian Taylor (US) & Olga Krypakova (Kazakhstan)
2016 - Christian Taylor (US) & Caterine Ibarguen (Colombia)

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