High jump

High jump

The high jump is an athletics (track and field) event in which competitors must jump over a horizontal bar placed at measured heights without the aid of any devices. It has been contested since the Olympic Games of ancient Greece. Over the centuries since, competitors have introduced increasingly more effective techniques to arrive at the current form. Javier Sotomayor (Cuba) is both the indoor and outdoor world record holder in this event with jumps of convert|2.43|m|2 and convert|2.45|m|2, respectively. Sotomayor's record, set in 1993, is the longest standing in the history of the men's high jump. Stefka Kostadinova (Bulgaria) has held the women's world record (2.09m) since 1987, the longest-held record in the event.


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DateFormat = yyyyPeriod = from:1920 till:2004TimeAxis = orientation:verticalScaleMajor = unit:year increment:5 start:1920

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PlotData= bar:Leaders width:25 mark:(line,white) align:left fontsize:XS shift:(22,-4) from:1922 till:end color:Basis at:1922 text:Nancy Vorhees_1,46_m at:1926 text:Phyllis Green_1,55_m at:1929 text:Carolina Gisoll_1,60_m at:1932 text:Jean Shiley_1,65_m at:1939 text:Dorothy Adams_1,66_m at:1943 text:Fanny Blankers-Koen_1,71_m at:1956 text:Mildred Singleton_1,76_m at:1958 text:Iolanda Balas_1,80_m at:1960 shift:(22,-8) text:Iolanda_Balas_1,85_m at:1961 shift:(22,-7) text:Iolanda_Balas_1,90_m at:1961 shift:(22,0) text:Iolanda_Balas_1,91_m at:1971 text:Ilona Gusenbauer_1,92_m at:1972 text:Jordanka Blagojewa_1,94_m at:1974 text:Rosemarie Ackermann_1,95_m at:1976 shift:(22,-8) text:Rosemarie_Ackermann_1,96_m at:1977 shift:(22,-8) text:Rosemarie_Ackermann_1,97_m at:1977 shift:(22,-1) text:Rosemarie_Ackermann_2,00_m at:1978 shift:(22,-2) text:Sara Simeoni_2,01_m at:1982 shift:(22,-6) text:Ulrike Meyfarth_2,02_m at:1983 shift:(22,-8) text:Ulrike_Meyfarth_2,03_m at:1983 shift:(22,-1) text:Tamara Bykowa_2,04_m at:1984 shift:(22,-5) text:Tamara_Bykowa_2,05_m at:1984 shift:(22,2) text:Ludmilla Andonowa_2,07_m at:1986 text:Stefka Kostadinova_2,08_m at:1987 text:Stefka_Kostadinova_2,09_m

The high jump predated the Olympics in ancient GreeceFact|date=May 2008. The first recorded high jump event took place in Scotland in the 19th century. Early jumpers used either an elaborate straight-on approach or a scissors technique. In the latter, the bar was approached diagonally, and the jumper threw first the inside leg and then the other over the bar in a scissoring motion. Around the turn of the 20th century, techniques began to modernise, starting with the Irish-American M.F. Sweeney's "Eastern cut-off". By taking off as if with the scissors, but extending his back and flattening out over the bar, the Sweeney achieved a more economic clearance and raised the world record to convert|6|ft|5.625|in|2 in 1895.

Another American, M.F. Horine, developed an even more efficient technique, the "Western roll". In this style, the bar again is approached on a diagonal, but the inner leg is used for the take-off, while the outer leg is thrust up to lead the body sideways over the bar. Horine increased the world standard to convert|6|ft|7|in in 1912. His technique predominated through the Berlin Olympics of 1936, in which the event was won by Cornelius Johnson at convert|2.03|m.

American and Russian jumpers held the playing field for the next four decades, and they pioneered the evolution of the straddle technique. Straddle jumpers took off as in the Western roll, but rotated their (belly-down) torso around the bar, obtaining the most economical clearance to date. Straddle-jumper Charles Dumas broke the elusive convert|7|ft barrier in 1956, and American wunderkind John Thomas pushed the world mark to convert|2.23|m in 1960. Valeriy Brumel took over the event for the next four years. The elegant Soviet jumper radically sped up his approach run, took the record up to convert|2.28|m, and won the Olympic gold medal in 1964, before a motorcycle accident ended his career.American coaches, including two-time NCAA champion Frank Costello of the University of Maryland, flocked to Russia to learn from Brumel and his coaches. However, it would be a solitary innovator at Oregon State University, Dick Fosbury, who would bring the high jump into the next century. Taking advantage of the raised, softer landing areas by then in use, Fosbury added a new twist to the outmoded Eastern Cut-off. He directed himself over the bar head and shoulders first, sliding over on his back and landing in a fashion which would likely have broken his neck in the old, sawdust landing pits. After he used this Fosbury flop to win the 1968 Olympic gold medal, the technique began to spread around the world, and soon "floppers" were dominating international high jump competitions. The last straddler to set a world record was the late Vladimir Yashchenko, who cleared convert|2.33|m in 1977 and then convert|2.35|m indoors in 1978.

Among renowned high jumpers following Fosbury's lead were: Americans Dwight Stones and his rival, convert|5|ft|8|in tall Franklin Jacobs of Paterson, NJ, who cleared convert|2.32|m, an astounding convert|2|ft over his head; Chinese record-setters Ni-chi Chin and Zhu Jianhua; Germans Gerd Wessig and Dietmar Mögenburg; Swedish Olympic medalist and world record holder Patrik Sjöberg; and female jumpers Iolanda Balaş of Romania, Ulrike Meyfarth of Germany and Italy's Sara Simeoni.

High jump shoes

High jump shoes are different from most other track shoes in that there are an additional one to four holes in the heel of the takeoff shoe, where the user can insert spikes for increased traction. As in the pole vault, heel strike in the high jump is important for lift-off as it allows the user to efficiently transfer energy. In addition, heel spikes aid greatly in the last four to five steps of the approach. The takeoff shoe has a thicker and more rigid sole than the non-takeoff shoe. IAAF regulations specify a maximum sole thickness for both high jump and long jump shoes; competitors in all other events may wear shoes with soles of any thickness.

Top performers

Updated 2008-10-03.

Men (outdoor)

Women (indoor)

National records

Updated October 3, 2008.



ee also

* List of Olympic medalists in athletics (women)
* List of Olympic medalists in athletics (men)
* World Record progression in athletics high jump men
* World Record progression high jump women
* National champions High Jump (women)
* National champions High Jump (men)


* "The Complete Book of Track and Field", by Tom McNab
* "The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2000"
* [http://www.iaaf.org/statistics/toplists/inout=O/ageGroup=N/season=0/gender=M/discipline=HJ/legal=A/index.html All-time list, men outdoor] (IAAF)
* [http://www.iaaf.org/statistics/toplists/inout=O/ageGroup=N/season=0/gender=W/discipline=HJ/legal=A/index.html All-time list, women outdoor] (IAAF)
* [http://www.iaaf.org/statistics/toplists/inout=I/ageGroup=N/season=0/gender=M/discipline=HJ/legal=A/index.html All-time list, men indoor] (IAAF)
* [http://www.iaaf.org/statistics/toplists/inout=I/ageGroup=N/season=0/gender=W/discipline=HJ/legal=A/index.html All-time list, women indoor] (IAAF)

External links

* [http://www.todd.acheson.com High Jump Resource Center]
* [http://www.iaaf.org/ International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)] – official site
* [http://www.athletix.org/statistics/stats.html World Record progression in athletics]
* [http://www.world-masters-athletics.org/ World Masters Athletics] - official site
* [http://www.mastersathletics.net Masters T&F World Rankings]
* [http://www.alltime-athletics.com Athletics all-time performances]
* [http://www.high-jumper.com Lithuanian high-jumper website]
* [http://www.theverticalsummit.com/ Vertical jumping forum / VERTMAN]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • high´-jump´er — high jump, 1. an athletic contest or event to determine how high each contestant can jump over a raised crossbar. 2. the jump itself. high jump «HY JUHMP», intransitive verb. to do a high jump or jumps. –v.t. to get across (a certain height or… …   Useful english dictionary

  • high jump — ► NOUN (the high jump) ▪ an athletic event in which competitors jump as high as possible over a bar of adjustable height. ● be for the high jump Cf. ↑be for the high jump DERIVATIVES high jumper noun …   English terms dictionary

  • high jump — n 1.) the high jump a sports event in which someone runs and jumps over a bar that is raised higher each time they jump 2.) be (in) for the high jump BrE informal if someone is for the high jump, they will be punished for something they have done …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • high jump — high′ jump n. 1) spo an athletic field event in which competitors use a running start to jump for height over a crossbar 2) spo a jump for height made in this event • Etymology: 1890–95 …   From formal English to slang

  • high jump — n. Track & Field 1. an event in which the contestants take turns jumping for height over a horizontal bar set between two upright supports: the bar is gradually raised during the contest until a winner is determined 2. a jump in such an event …   English World dictionary

  • high jump — noun 1. a competition that involves jumping as high as possible over a horizontal bar • Hypernyms: ↑field event 2. the act of jumping as high as possible over a horizontal bar • Hypernyms: ↑jumping • Hyponyms: ↑Fosbury flop * * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • high-jump — /huy jump /, v.i. 1. to participate in the high jump; compete as a high jumper. v.t. 2. to clear or attempt to clear (a specified height) in a high jump: a goal of high jumping his own height. * * * high jump, 1. an athletic contest or event to… …   Useful english dictionary

  • high jump — Track. 1. a field event in which athletes, using a running start, compete in jumping for height over a crossbar supported by two upright poles. 2. a jump for height made in this event. [1890 95] * * * Track and field event of jumping for height.… …   Universalium

  • high jump — noun 1 the high jump a sports event in which someone runs and jumps over a bar that is raised higher each time they jump 2 be (in) for the high jump BrE informal if someone is for the high jump, they will be punished for something they have done… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • high jump — /ˈhaɪ dʒʌmp / (say huy jump) –noun 1. Athletics a. a vertical jump in which one attempts to go as high as possible. b. a contest for the highest such jump. 2. Prison Colloquial the court of quarter sessions. –phrase 3. for the high jump,… …   Australian English dictionary

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