The event requires a long-jumper’s striding consistency, along with leg strength, as triple jumpers’ legs take a pounding during each of the three jump phases. Speed is important, but not as important as in the long jump. In the triple jump, some energy must be conserved for the final leap into the landing area.
What to look for:
The sport was formerly called the “hop, step and jump” because that’s what competitors do. In the “hop” phase, jumpers push off with one foot. They must land with the same foot at the start of the “step” phase, then land on the opposite foot for the jump into the landing area. Other than employing three jumps instead of one, the triple jump uses the same competition rules as the long jump.
Men’s world record:
Jonathan Edwards of Great Britain executed the first legal (non wind-aided) 18-meter triple jump at the 1995 World Championships in Goteborg, Sweden, leaping 18.16 meters with his first jump of the competition. He was visibly moved by his triumph, covering his face with his hands when the distance was posted, but he calmed down sufficiently to top his record in the second round when his jump measured 18.29 meters.
Women’s world record:
Ukraine’s Inessar Kravets fouled twice at the 1995 World Championships. Before her final jump she examined photos of Jonathan Edwards, who’d set the men’s world record during the Championships just three days earlier. She obviously found something that helped her performance because she proceeded to shatter the women’s mark by 41 centimeters with a jump measuring 15.50 meters.
Kravets, who’d served a three-month suspension in 1993 after testing positive for a stimulant, later suffered a two-year ban after testing positive for a performance-enhancing steroid in 2000.