While French triple jumper Teddy Tamgho said he was stronger and faster entering the 2010 season, there was no indication that he’d soon put his name in the record books. But Tamgho, then 20 years old, leaped to prominence in his final jump of the World Indoor Championships. Not only did he move into first place, but he set a new indoor world record of 17.90 meters (58 feet, 8¾ inches). Tamgho nudged that indoor mark up twice in 2011, to 17.91/58-9, then to 17.92/58-9½ at the European Indoor Championships.
Tamgho entered organized track and field competition at age 13 when his older sister brought him to the Dynamic Aulnay Club. Tamgho began as a pole vaulter but switched to triple jump the following year, under coach Jean-Hervé Stievenart. As of 2011 Tamgho is coached by Ivan Pedroso, the 2000 Olympic long jump champion.
Prior to 2010, Tamgho’s indoor personal best was 17.58/57-8, but his outdoor PR lagged behind at 17.19/56-4¾. He’d performed well, but wasn’t a medal contender, at the 2009 World Championships, reaching the final before finishing 11th. But Tamgho followed up his 2010 indoor success with his best outdoor season. He leaped 17.98/58-11¾ in New York, three days before his 21st birthday, tying for the sixth longest triple jump of all-time. He won three Diamond League events in 2010 on his way to the initial Diamond League triple jump championship.
While Tamgho’s rise among the triple jump elite was faster than many expected, the fact that he reached those heights was no surprise. Tamgho was the European Junior champion in 2007 and the World Junior champ in 2008. While he placed a disappointing third in the European Championships in 2010 (while possibly still suffering from a leg injury), he won the Euro Indoor title in 2011, with his third world-record performance.
Meeting the Master:
The first time he met Jonathan Edwards, in 2009, Tamgho announced that he would eventually top Edwards’ outdoor triple jump record of 18.29/60-0¼. Edwards has since become somewhat of a believer, stating in 2010, [link url=http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/sport/a/-/other/8965505/triple-jumper-tamgho-vies-for-king-edwards-chair/]“In my mind, he's the triple jumper who has the best chance of beating my record."[/link]
- Height: 6-1
- Birth date: June 15, 1989
- Hometown: Paris, France
- Personal best: 17.98 meters (58 feet, 11¾ inches) outdoors; 17.92/58-9½ (indoors – world record)