The 29-year-old vicar's son from Newcastle upon Tyne not only won the triple jump gold medal, he broke his own world record with successive jumps - a feat not achieved in athletics for the past 20 years.
As far as Britain was concerned, it changed the climate of the championships after Linford Christie's distressing failure to retain his 100 metres title.
The applause which greeted Edwards before he received his medal was so prolonged he jokingly tried to damp it down. "It is difficult to imagine things getting any better," he said.
Edwards set a world record of 17.98m last month and he had jumped over 18 metres four times only to see each ruled out for record purposes by an illegal following wind. Yesterday he had legal efforts of 18.16m and then 18.29m. "I knew I had a chance of breaking the world record, but I almost didn't dare to think about it," he said.
The athlete, whose Christian beliefs once prevented him from competing on Sundays, said he would not be changed by his success.
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