Jonathan David Edwards, CBE (born 10 May 1966 in London) is a former triple jumper. He is a former Olympic, World,Commonwealth and European champion, and has held the world record in the event since 1995.
Much like previous Genuine Pace entry Eric Liddell, Edwards had strong Christian beliefs and he initially refused to compete on Sundays, but eventually decided to do so in 1993 winning a Bronze in the world Championships.
In his breakthrough year of 1995, Edwards produced a jump of 18.43 m (60 feet 5 1⁄2 inches) at the European Cup. The leap was wind assisted and did not count for record purposes, but it was a sign of things to come as he capped an unbeaten year with a historic gold medal performance at the World Championships, in which he broke the world record twice in the same meeting. On his first jump, he became the first man to legally pass the 18-metre barrier with a jump of 18.16 m (59 feet 7 inches). That record lasted for about 20 minutes. His second jump of 18.29 m made him the first to jump 60 feet which still stands. During his commentary for the 2008 Summer Olympics, Edwards observed that during the 1995 World Championships, he felt as if “he could jump as far as he needed to”. Later the same year Edwards became the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
During 1996 Edwards went into the Olympic Games as favourite and world record holder, but it was American Kenny Harrison who took the gold with a jump of 18.09 m. Edwards walked away with the silver after a leap of 17.88 m (the longest ever jump not to win gold). Edwards won the gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games, and was appointed a CBE shortly afterwards. He also won golds at the 2001 World Championships and 2002 Commonwealth Games. At one point in 2002, Edwards held all the gold medals for the “four majors” (Olympic Games, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and European Championships). He retired after the 2003 World Championships as Great Britain’s most successful medal winning athlete.He later presented Songs of Praise but lost his faith in 2007.
It’s his 100m time of 10.48s that sees him join the Genuine Pace leaderboard.