Athletics Edwards robbed of world record
Monday 03 July 1995
reports from Gateshead
The winds of fortune continue to blow against Jonathan Edwards. After last weekend's heroics in Lille, the Gateshead Harrier produced yet another enormous triple jump of 18.03 metres here yesterday. But blustery conditions in his home stadium robbed him of a world record, just as they had invalidated his efforts of 18.43m and 18.39m at the European Cup.
The man who used never to compete on Sundays because of his religious beliefs is finding the sabbath something of a mixed blessing. Of his five efforts here, only the 18.03 - six centimetres further than Willie Banks' legal world mark - took place when the following wind was over the legal limit of two metres per second at 2.9. He had to content himself with increasing his British record by two centimetres to 17.74m.
"I was a bit disappointed," he said. "But the main thing was going into the unknown to discover whether I was just going to revert to 17.20, 17.30 jumping. My whole world has been turned upside down in the last week. The phone has never stopped ringing, and I am really shattered.
"I can't believe I am jumping so far. I don't feel any different in myself, but suddenly I find people are comparing my performances with those of Bob Beamon and Butch Reynolds, who are legends in the sport. This is just me. The best thing about it is that it is focusing attention on athletics' performance, rather than money matters."
There was no ignoring the absence of Linford Christie, Colin Jackson and John Regis - still locked in a pay dispute with the British Athletic Federation - which appeared to have a direct effect upon the occasion. The crowd of 6,193 was less than half the capacity of 13,000, and was believed to be the lowest for a televised meeting here since the refurbished stadium opened in 1974.
Interviewed on ITV, the BAF executive chairman, Peter Radford, insisted that there was no more money available to offer the leading athletes. Next Friday's grand prix at Crystal Palace looms alarmingly.
Kelly Holmes emphasised her potential in the 1500m at this summer's World Championships with a characteristically bold victory in 4min 4.20sec. The field included Sonia O'Sullivan, Yvonne Murray and Paula Radcliffe, who - promisingly - took four seconds off her personal best with 4:05.61.
Rob Denmark had a comparatively disappointing experience in the 5,000m, coming third in 13min 15.83sec behind the winner Shadrack Hoff, who set a South African record of 13:14.16. Mark Richardson ran Darnell Hall close over 400m, and David Grindley took another step back after injury, but Britain's European champion, Du'Aine Ladejo, dropped out half-way with a worrying hamstring tear.
Gateshead did witness its first world record since Brendan Foster set a new 3,000m mark in 1974. Daniella Bartova of the Czech Republic, who was told she was too heavy to carry on as a gymnast after finishing 64th in the last Olympics, found gravity no problem as she improved her own pole-vault record to 4.14 metres.
Behind her, Kate Staples regained the British and Commonwealth record with a vault of 3.80m. Bartova and Staples vaulted 4.20m and 3.90m respectively in Prague last month, but records were ruled out because of the way the ground sloped in Wenceslas Square. It makes a change from the wind.
Latest in Sport
How Liverpool can catch Manchester United and secure Champions League football next season
Arsenal transfer news: Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini set for showdown summer talks over future
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger reveals: 'We are not close to signing anybody. We need to lose some players'
Danny Jones: Keighley Cougars half-back dies after cardiac arrest during league game
Chelsea season player ratings: Grading the entire squad of the new Premier League champions
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...
£25000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable...
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...
£22000 - £28000 per annum + study support, gym: Ashdown Group: A large busines...