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On this day: Jonathan Edwards jumps to Olympic gold

Thirteen years ago today, Jonathan Edwards leaps to gold in the triple jump at the Olympic Games in Sydney.

In the days that built up to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, one of Great Britain's major gold medal hopes was Jonathan Edwards, and with good reason.

A year earlier, the Windsor-born triple jumper had set a new world record when he leaped first 18.16m and then 18.29m at the World Championships in Gothenburg.

So, as the Games approached, the 30-year-old was the hot favourite to claim the top prize. All appeared to be going to the script when he jumped 17.88m - after all, at any another Olympics that would have been enough to win gold.

However, American Kenny Harrison stole Edwards's thunder as he recorded a distance of 18.09m, relegating the Brit to silver in the process.

Despite reports that he was contemplating retirement, Edwards was eager to right the wrongs of Atlanta and so even at the age of 34, his form in the months leading up to the Games in Sydney four years later once again saw him regarded much fancied to emerge victorious.

On this occasion Edwards would not be denied and when he jumped 17.71m in the third round, the competition was over. None of his fellow competitors went beyond the 17.50m mark, with Cuban Yoel Garcia (17.47m) doing enough to take silver, while bronze went to Russia's Denis Kapustin (17.46m).

Speaking about his achievement to The Mirror last year, Edwards said: "I had gone into ­Atlanta as the red hot ­favourite, and didn't win. I was beaten well and it was a long four-year wait.

"That kind of feeling going into Olympic year [in 2000] was pretty horrible. The thought of retiring as a world record holder, but not an Olympic champion, well, there's nothing like an ­Olympic games. It is just different, and it stands apart from everything else by a country mile."

Edwards continued to compete up until the 2003 World Championships in France when he retired as Team GB's most successful medal-winning athlete.

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