High jump: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on High jump

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A novice jumper demonstrating the Fosbury Flop

The high jump is a track and field athletics event in which competitors must jump over a horizontal bar placed at measured heights without the aid of certain devices in its modern most practiced format; auxiliary weights and mounds have been used for assistance; rules have changed over the years. 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 the current men's record holder with a jump of 2.45 metres (8 ft 0.46 in) set in 1993 and is the longest standing record in the history of the men's high jump. Stefka Kostadinova (Bulgaria) has held the women's world record 2.09 metres (6 ft 10.28 in) since 1987, also the longest-held record in the event.



Konstantinos Tsiklitiras during the standing high jump competition at the 1912 Summer Olympics

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, Sweeney achieved a more economic clearance and raised the world record to 6 feet 5.625 inches (1.97 m) 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 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m) in 1912. His technique predominated through the Berlin Olympics of 1936, in which the event was won by Cornelius Johnson at 2.03 metres (6 ft 8 in).

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 up to that time. Straddle-jumper Charles Dumas broke the elusive 7 feet (2.13 m) barrier in 1956, and American John Thomas pushed the world mark to 2.23 metres (7 ft 4 in) 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 2.28 metres (7 ft 6 in), and won the Olympic gold medal in 1964, before a motorcycle accident ended his career.

Gold medal winner Ethel Catherwood of Canada scissors over the bar at the 1928 Summer Olympics. Her winning result was 1.59 metres (5 ft 3 in).
Platt Adams during the standing high jump competition at the 1912 Summer Olympics

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 2.33 metres (7 ft 8 in) in 1977 and then 2.35 metres (7 ft 9 in) indoors in 1978.

Among renowned high jumpers following Fosbury's lead were: Americans Dwight Stones and his rival, 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) tall Franklin Jacobs of Paterson, NJ, who cleared 2.32 metres (7 ft 7 in), an astounding 0.59 metres (1 ft 11 in) over his head (a feat equaled by Sweden's Stefan Holm); 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.

Technical aspects


High jump shoes

High jump shoes are different from most other track shoes in that there are an additional four holes in the heel of the takeoff shoe, where the user can insert spikes for increased traction. These extra heel spikes aid greatly in the last four to five steps of the J-approach, allowing the jumper to run on his or her curve at a fast speed without slipping. Some high jump shoes are even more technologically developed and in addition to the extra spikes on the heel, the shoes are modified to lean the direction of the approach to provide further support while running their curve. As well as the approach, high jump shoes also help and support the jumper's takeoff. The 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.

The approach

The approach of the high jump may actually be more important than the take off. If a high jumper runs with bad timing or without enough aggression, clearing a high bar becomes more of a challenge. The approach requires a certain shape or curve, the right amount of speed, and the correct number of strides. The approach angle is also critical for optimal height.

Most great straddle jumpers have a run at angles of about 30 to 40 degrees. The length of the run is determined by the speed of the person's approach. A slower run requires about 8 strides. However, a faster high jumper might need about 13 strides. The greater the speed of the run, the greater the body's momentum can be converted upward [1].

The j type approach, favored by Fosbury floppers, allows for horizontal speed, the ability to turn in the air (centripetal force), and good take-off position. The approach should be a hard controlled stride so that a person does not fall from creating an angle with speed. Athletes should run tall and lean from the ankles on the curve and not the hips [2].

Drills can be practiced to solidify the approach. One drill is to run in a straight line (the linear part of the approach) and then run two to three circles spiraling into one another. Another is to run or skip a circle of any size, two to three times in a row [3].

Declaring the winner

In competition the winner is the person who cleared the largest height. In case of a tie, fewer failed attempts at that height are better. If there still is a tie here, all the failed attempts are added up, the one with the least is declared the winner. If still tied a playoff is held. Starting height is the next larger height after the overjumped one. If all the players clear the height, the bar is raised 2 cm, if they fail the bar is lowered 2 cm. THat continues until only one player succeeds in overjumping that height, he is declared the winner.

Athlete 1.87 1.90 1.93 1.96 1.99 2.02 Attempt Failed Attemps Height Place
A - - XO XO XO XXX 2 3 1.99 1st
B O - O O XXX 1 0 1.96 3rd
C O - XO XO X-- XX 2 2 1.96 4th
D - XO O XXO XXO XXX 3 5 1.99 2nd
E - - - XXX 5th

Top performers

Updated June 16, 2009.

Men (outdoor)

Pos. Mark Athlete Nationality Venue Date
1. 2.45 Javier Sotomayor  Cuba Salamanca July 23, 1993
2. 2.42 Patrik Sjöberg  Sweden Stockholm June 30, 1987
3. 2.41 Igor Paklin  Soviet Union Kobe September 4, 1985
4. 2.40 Rudolf Povarnitsyn  Soviet Union Donetsk August 11, 1985
Sorin Matei  Romania Bratislava June 20, 1990
Charles Austin  United States Zürich August 7, 1991
Vyacheslav Voronin  Russia London August 5, 2000
9. 2.39 Zhu Jianhua  China Eberstadt June 10, 1984
Hollis Conway  United States Norman July 30, 1989

Women (outdoor)

Pos. Mark Athlete Nationality Venue Date
1. 2.09 Stefka Kostadinova  Bulgaria Rome August 30, 1987
2. 2.08 Blanka Vlašić  Croatia Zagreb August 31, 2009
3. 2.07 Lyudmila Andonova  Bulgaria Berlin July 20, 1984
4. 2.06 Kajsa Bergqvist  Sweden Eberstadt July 26, 2003
Hestrie Cloete  South Africa Paris August 31, 2003
Yelena Slesarenko  Russia Athens August 28, 2004
Ariane Friedrich  Germany Berlin June 14, 2009
9. 2.05 Tamara Bykova  Soviet Union Kiev June 22, 1984
Heike Henkel  Germany Tokyo August 31, 1991
Inha Babakova  Ukraine Tokyo September 15, 1995
Tia Hellebaut  Belgium Beijing August 23, 2008

Men (indoor)

Pos. Mark Athlete Venue Date
1. 2.43  Javier Sotomayor (CUB) Budapest March 4, 1989
2. 2.42  Carlo Thränhardt (FRG) Berlin February 26, 1988
3. 2.41  Patrik Sjöberg (SWE) Piraeus February 1, 1987
4. 2.40  Hollis Conway (USA) Sevilla March 10, 1991
 Stefan Holm (SWE) Madrid March 6, 2005
 Ivan Ukhov (RUS) Athens February 25, 2009
6. 2.39  Dietmar Mögenburg (FRG) Köln February 24, 1985
 Ralf Sonn (GER) Berlin March 1, 1991
9. 2.38  Igor Paklin (USSR) Indianapolis March 7, 1987
 Gennadiy Avdeyenko (USSR) Indianapolis March 7, 1987
 Steve Smith (GBR) Wuppertal February 4, 1994
 Wolf-Hendrik Beyer (GER) Weinheim March 18, 1994
 Sorin Matei (ROM) Wuppertal February 3, 1995
 Matt Hemingway (USA) Atlanta March 4, 2000
 Yaroslav Rybakov (RUS) Stockholm February 15, 2005
 Linus Thörnblad (SWE) Göteborg February 25, 2007

Women (indoor)

Pos. Mark Athlete Venue Date
1. 2.08  Kajsa Bergqvist (SWE) Arnstadt February 6, 2006
2. 2.07  Heike Henkel (GER) Karlsruhe February 8, 1992
3. 2.06  Stefka Kostadinova (BUL) Athens February 20, 1988
 Blanka Vlašić (CRO) Arnstadt February 6, 2010
4. 2.05  Tia Hellebaut (BEL) Birmingham March 3, 2007
 Ariane Friedrich (GER) Karlsruhe February 15, 2009
7. 2.04  Alina Astafei (GER) Berlin March 3, 1995
 Anna Chicherova (RUS) Yekaterinburg January 7, 2003
 Yelena Slesarenko (RUS) Budapest March 7, 2004
10. 2.03  Tamara Bykova (USSR) Budapest March 6, 1983
 Monika Iagar (ROM) Bucharest January 23, 1999
 Marina Kuptsova (RUS) Wien March 2, 2002

Best Year Performance

Men's Seasons Best (Outdoor)

Year Height Athlete Venue
1971 2.29  Pat Matzdorf (USA) Berkeley
1972 2.25  Jüri Tarmak (URS) Moscow
1973 2.30  Dwight Stones (USA) Munich
1974 2.28  Dwight Stones (USA) Oslo
1975 2.28  Dwight Stones (USA) New York
1976 2.32  Dwight Stones (USA) Philadelphia
1977 2.33  Vladimir Yashchenko (URS) Richmond
1978 2.34  Vladimir Yashchenko (URS) Tbilisi
1979 2.32  Dietmar Mögenburg (FRG) Ottawa
1980 2.36  Gerd Wessig (GDR) Moscow
1981 2.33  Aleksey Demyanyuk (URS) Leningrad
1982 2.33  Zhu Jianhua (CHN) Delhi
1983 2.38  Zhu Jianhua (CHN) Shanghai
1984 2.39  Zhu Jianhua (CHN) Eberstadt
1985 2.41  Igor Paklin (URS) Kobe
1986 2.38  Igor Paklin (URS) Rieti
1987 2.42  Patrik Sjöberg (SWE) Stockholm
1988 2.43  Javier Sotomayor (CUB) Salamanca
1989 2.44  Javier Sotomayor (CUB) San Juan
1990 2.40  Sorin Matei (ROM) Bratislava
1991 2.40  Javier Sotomayor (CUB) Saint-Denis
 Charles Austin (USA) Zürich
1992 2.37  Steve Smith (GBR) Seoul
1993 2.45  Javier Sotomayor (CUB) Salamanca
1994 2.42  Javier Sotomayor (CUB) Seville
1995 2.40  Javier Sotomayor (CUB) Mar del Plata
1996 2.39  Charles Austin (USA) Atlanta
1997 2.37  Javier Sotomayor (CUB) Athens
1998 2.37  Javier Sotomayor (CUB) Maracaibo
1999 2.37  Vyacheslav Voronin (RUS) Seville
2000 2.40  Vyacheslav Voronin (RUS) London
2001 2.37  Vyacheslav Voronin (RUS) Eberstadt
2002 2.37  Jacques Freitag (RSA) Durban
2003 2.36  Aleksander Walerianczyk (POL) Bydgoszcz
2004 2.36  Stefan Holm (SWE) Eberstadt
2005 2.38  Jacques Freitag (RSA) Oudtshoorn
 Andriy Sokolovskyy (UKR) Rome
2006 2.37  Andrey Silnov (RUS) Monaco
2007 2.35  Donald Thomas (BAH) Salamanca
 Stefan Holm (SWE) Stockholm
 Yaroslav Rybakov (RUS) Osaka
 Kyriacos Ioannou (CYP) Osaka
2008 2.38  Andrey Silnov (RUS) London
2009 2.35  Andra Manson (USA) Austin
 Ivan Ukhov (RUS) Cheboksary
 Yaroslav Rybakov (RUS) Cheboksary

Women's Seasons Best (Outdoor)

Year Height Athlete Venue
1970 1.87  Antonina Lazareva (URS) Kiev
1971 1.92  Ilona Gusenbauer (AUT) Vienna
1972 1.94  Yordanka Blagoeva (BUL) Zagreb
1973 1.92  Yordanka Blagoeva (BUL) Warsaw
1974 1.95  Rosemarie Ackermann (GDR) Rome
1975 1.94  Rosemarie Ackermann (GDR) Nice
1976 1.96  Rosemarie Ackermann (GDR) Dresden
1977 2.00  Rosemarie Ackermann (GDR) Berlin
1978 2.01  Sara Simeoni (ITA) Brescia
1979 1.99  Rosemarie Ackermann (GDR) Turin
1980 1.98  Sara Simeoni (ITA) Turin
1981 1.97  Pamela Spencer (USA) Brussels
1982 2.02  Ulrike Meyfarth (FRG) Athens
1983 2.04  Tamara Bykova (URS) Pisa
1984 2.07  Lyudmila Andonova (BUL) Berlin
1985 2.06  Stefka Kostadinova (BUL) Moscow
1986 2.08  Stefka Kostadinova (BUL) Sofia
1987 2.09  Stefka Kostadinova (BUL) Rome
1988 2.07  Stefka Kostadinova (BUL) Sofia
1989 2.04  Silvia Costa (CUB) Barcelona
1990 2.02  Yelena Yelesina (URS) Seattle
1991 2.05  Heike Henkel (GER) Tokyo
1992 2.05  Stefka Kostadinova (BUL) San Marino
1993 2.05  Stefka Kostadinova (BUL) Fukuoka
1994 2.00  Silvia Costa (CUB) Havana
 Inga Babakova (UKR) Moscow
 Britta Bilač (SLO) Helsinki
1995 2.05  Inga Babakova (UKR) Tokyo
1996 2.05  Stefka Kostadinova (BUL) Atlanta, Georgia
1997 2.02  Stefka Kostadinova (BUL) Osaka
 Inga Babakova (UKR) Fukuoka
1998 2.03  Venelina Veneva (BUL) Kalámai
1999 2.04  Hestrie Cloete (RSA) Monaco
2000 2.02  Monica Iagăr (ROM) Villeneuve d'Ascq
2001 2.04  Venelina Veneva (BUL) Kalamáta
2002 2.05  Kajsa Bergqvist (SWE) Poznań
2003 2.06  Kajsa Bergqvist (SWE) Eberstadt
 Hestrie Cloete (RSA) Saint-Denis
2004 2.06  Yelena Slesarenko (RUS) Athens
2005 2.03  Kajsa Bergqvist (SWE) Sheffield
2006 2.05  Kajsa Bergqvist (SWE) London
2007 2.07  Blanka Vlašić (CRO) Stockholm
2008 2.06  Blanka Vlašić (CRO) Istanbul
2009 2.08  Blanka Vlašić (CRO) Zagreb

National records

Updated September 2, 2009.


Nation Height Athlete Venue Date
 CUB 2.45 m Javier Sotomayor Salamanca 1993-07-27
 SWE 2.42 m Patrik Sjöberg Stockholm 1987-06-30
 GER 2.42 m Carlo Thränhardt Berlin 1988-02-26
 KGZ 2.41 m Igor Paklin Kobe 1985-09-04
 UKR 2.40 m Rudolf Povarnitsin Donetsk 1985-08-11
 ROM 2.40 m Sorin Matei Bratislava 1990-06-20
 USA 2.40 m Charles Austin Zürich 1991-08-07
 RUS 2.40 m Vyacheslav Voronin London 2000-08-05
 PRC 2.39 m Zhu Jianhua Beijing 1983-06-11
 SRB 2.38 m Dragutin Topic Belgrad 1993-08-01
 BAH 2.38 m Troy Kemp Nice 1995-07-12
 POL 2.38 m Artur Partyka Eberstadt 1996-08-18
 RSA 2.38 m Jacques Freitag Oudtshoorn 2005-03-05
 AZE 2.37 m Valeriy Sereda Rieti 1984-09-02
 GBR 2.37 m Steve Smith Seoul 1992-09-20
 BEL 2.36 m Eddy Annys Ghent 1985-05-26
 CZE 2.36 m Jan Zvara Prague 1987-08-23
Jaroslav Baba Rome 2005-07-08
 BER 2.36 m Nick Saunders Auckland 1990-02-01
 BUL 2.36 m Georgi Dakov Brussels 1990-08-10
 GRE 2.36 m Lambros Papakostas Athens 1992-07-21
 AUS 2.36 m Tim Forsyth Melbourne 1997-03-02
 NOR 2.36 m Steinar Hoen Oslo 1997-07-01
 ISR 2.36 m Konstantin Matusevich Perth 2000-02-05
 FRA 2.35 m Jean-Charles Gicquel Paris 1994-03-13
 CAN 2.35 m Mark Boswell Seville 1999-08-23
 CYP 2.35 m Kyriakos Ioannou Osaka 2007-08-29
 SVK 2.34 m Robert Ruffini Prague 1988-07-03
 LTU 2.34 m Rolandas Verkys Warsaw 1991-06-16
 ESP 2.34 m Arturo Ortíz Barcelona 1991-06-22
 BLR 2.34 m Andrey Sankovich Gomel 1993-05-15
 KOR 2.34 m Lee Jin-Taek Seoul 1997-06-20
 ALG 2.34 m Abderrahmane Hammad Alger 2000-07-14
 JAM 2.34 m Germaine Mason Santo Domingo 2003-08-09
 BOT 2.34 m Kabelo Kgosiemang Addis Ababa 2008-05-04
 ITA 2.33 m Marcello Benvenuti Verona 1989-09-12
 COL 2.33 m Gilmar Mayo Pereira 1994-10-17
 JPN 2.33 m Naoyuki Daigo Kobe 2006-07-02
 UZB 2.32 m Gennadiy Belkov Tashkent 1982-05-29
 BRA 2.32 m Jessé de Lima Lausanne 2008-09-02
 SUI 2.31 m Roland Dalhäuser Eberstadt 1981-06-07
 TJK 2.31 m Oleg Palaschevskiy Bryansk 1990-08-12
 BIH 2.31 m Elvir Krehmic Zagreb 1998-07-07
 FIN 2.31 m Mika Polku Hämeenkyrö 2000-07-22
Toni Huikuri Bratislava 2002-06-11
 PER 2.30 m Hugo Munoz Lima 1995-10-29
 EST 2.30 m Marko Turban Rakvere 1996-06-05
 LAT 2.30 m Normunds Sietiņš Nurmijervi 1992-07-20
 IRL 2.30 m Adrian O'Dwyer Algiers 2004-06-24
 ISL 2.28 m Einar Karl Hjartarson Reykjavík 2001-02-20
 TUR 2.26 m[1] Metin Durmuşoğlu Istanbul 2002-06-08
 CHI 2.22 m[2] Felipe Apablaza Cochabamba 2001-06-03
 IRN 2.21 m Teymour Ghiassi Tehran, Asian games 1974-06-24


Nation Height Athlete Venue Date
 BUL 2.09 m Stefka Kostadinova Rome 1987-08-30
 CRO 2.08 m Blanka Vlašić Zagreb 2009-08-31
 SWE 2.08 m Kajsa Bergqvist Arnstadt 2006-02-04
 GER 2.07 m Heike Henkel Karlsruhe 1992-02-08
 RSA 2.06 m Hestrie Cloete Paris 2003-08-31
 RUS 2.06 m Yelena Slesarenko Athens 2004-08-28
 UKR 2.05 m Inga Babakova Tokyo 1995-09-15
 BEL 2.05 m Tia Hellebaut Birmingham 2007-03-03
 CUB 2.04 m Silvia Costa Barcelona 1989-09-09
 USA 2.03 m Louise Ritter Austin 1988-07-08
 GRE 2.03 m Niki Bakogianni Atlanta 1996-08-03
 ROM 2.03 m Monica Iagar Bucharest 1999-01-23
 ITA 2.03 m Antonietta Di Martino Milan 2007-06-24
 ESP 2.02 m Ruth Beitia San Sebastián 2007-08-04
 KAZ 2.01 m Olga Turchak Moscow 1986-07-07
 NOR 2.01 m Hanne Haugland Zürich 1997-08-13
 SRB 2.00 m Biljana Petrovic Saint-Denis 1990-06-22
 BLR 2.00 m Tatyana Shevchik Gomel 1993-05-14
 CZE 2.00 m Zuzana Hlavoňová Prague 2000-06-05
 SLO 2.00 m Britta Bilač Helsinki 1994-08-14
 HUN 2.00 m Dóra Györffy Nyiregyhaza 2001-07-26
 AUS 1.98 m Alison Inverarity Ingolstadt 1989-02-12
 CAN 1.98 m Debbie Brill Rieti 1984-09-02
 UZB 1.98 m Lyudmila Butuzova Sochi 1984-06-10
 POL 1.97 m Danuta Bułkowska Wörrstadt 1984-06-09
 CHN 1.97 m Ling Jin Hamamatsu 1989-05-07
 LAT 1.97 m Aaron Kingsbury Vilnius 1992-30-03
 AUT 1.97 m Sigrid Kirchmann Stuttgart 1993-08-21
 MDA 1.97 m Olga Bolshova Rieti 1993-09-05
 ARG 1.97 m Solange Witteveen Manaus 2001-05-19
 DOM 1.97 m Juana Rosario Arrendel San Salvador 2002-12-02
 KGZ 1.97 m Tatyana Efimenko Rome 2003-07-11
 MEX 1.97 m Romary Rifka Xalapa 2004-04-04
 JPN 1.96 m Miki Imai Yokohama 2001-09-15
 GBR 1.95 m Diana Elliott Oslo 1982-06-26
Susan Moncrieff Bremen 2001-06-24
Jessica Ennis Desenzano 2007-05-05
 FRA 1.95 m Maryse Ewanje-Epee Göteborg 1984-03-04
 LCA 1.95 m Levern Spencer Zaragoza 2009-07-18
 TUR 1.93 m[1] Candeğer Oğuz Istanbul 2004-05-16
 BRA 1.92 m Orlane dos Santos Bogotá 1989-08-11
 FIN 1.92 m Hanna Mikkonen Tampere 2005-06-12
 IRL 1.92 m Deirdre Ryan Manchester 2006-07-15
 EST 1.91 m Viktoria Leks Tallinn 2007-02-11

See also


External links

Simple English

The high jump was first practised in England in the 19th century. It became an Olympic sport in 1896 for men and in 1928 for women. The rules that were made in 1865 still exist today.

The men's world record of 2.45 metres was set in 1993 by Javier Sotomayor (Cuba). The women's world record of 2.09 metres is held by Stefka Kostadinova. It was set in 1987.


Every athlete has three attempts on every height. Those heights are fixed. When he or she needs less than three attempts for a height, he or she can go to the next height. When the athlete fails three times on a height, he or she is out of the competition. The competition lasts until all athletes have been eliminated. When two athletes have reached the same height, the one who needed less attempts wins.

The athletes are allowed to touch the crossbar but they must not knock it down. It is also an invalid attempt when an athlete does not pass the crossbar but touches the mat.


The technique that is practised today is called the "Fosbury Flop". With this technique it is possible to jump over the crossbar while the center of gravity is under the crossbar. Before the Fosbury Flop had been invented, there were other techniques, such as the "scissors" or the "Bride".


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address