Edwards does it again

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The Independent Online

Britain's Jonathan Edwards regained the world triple jump title in glorious fashion with a massive 17.92 metre leap.

Not only was that the furthest jump of the year – it was also the longest distance registered since the World record holder propelled his body a stunning 18.01m in Oslo three years ago.

The Olympic champion is now 35–years–old and facing a host of young pretenders aching to replace him.

But Edwards still remains in a class of his own.

After the first round of the final Edwards was lying third.

With his second jump he almost cleared the sandpit and there was no doubt it was well in excess of 18 metres.

However, it was disallowed after he went over the board.

Tonight Christian Olsson, the only man to beat Edwards this year on a cold and wet evening in Helsinki, proved he is the most likely successor.

The Swede cleared 17.47m – within only two centimetres of the Nordic record he achieved last month – while third placed Igor Spasovkhodskiy of Russia jumped a personal best 17.44m.

The Brit had been convinced he would again regain the his world title which he memorably first won in Gothenburg six years ago.

The never–to–be–forgotten 18.29m leap at the Ullevi stadium seems likely to stand as a world best for as long as Bob Beamon's long jump record and Sebastian Coe's 800 metres mark did.

The bubble burst in Athens two years later when he had to settle for silver and again at the last Championships when coming home with only a bronze medal.

Edwards said: "It's nice to show I can still produce jumps that long. The second one was also thereabouts. I don't know if it was over 18 metres – but it was only a small scratch. I've seen those given before.

"The third was a lovely jump. I had to respond. I had one bad jump and a scratch. I knew I had to jump well. I was already starting to feel some tiredness in my calf. I've had a bad cramp in it.

"The wind was swirling around. There was a two metre difference between my second and third jump. It wasn't as easy as it might have looked.

"The other guys looked terrific in the warm up field. I had difficulties even to make the final. I know I can win if I can get a good jump. But there's a fine line in between."

Silver medallist Olsson, who was a teenage programme vendor at the Ullevi in 1995, revealed: "I had doubts about the competition because I hurt my heel in the qualifications and I hesitated in the final.

"It is little more than a miracle that I was able to win the silver medal."