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An Illustrated History of the Triple Jump

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The early days of the triple jump
An Illustrated History of the Triple Jump

Chuhei Nambu at the 1932 Olympics

IOC Olympic Museum/Allsport/Getty Images
There is evidence that the triple jump, in some form, dates to the ancient Greek Olympics. The long jump was indisputably part of the Greek games, but some jumpers recorded leaps of more than 50 feet, leading sports historians to conclude that these were actually a series of jumps.

The triple jump has been a part of the modern Olympics - for men, at least - since the first modern Games in 1896, when the event consisted of two hops with the same foot, followed by a jump. It was soon changed to the modern "hop, step and jump" pattern. Americans and Europeans dominated the early contests, but Japanese jumpers won three consecutive gold medals from 1928-36. Chuhei Nambu was the 1932 champion with a leap measuring 15.72 meters.

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