Former world record holder Willie Banks.
|World||Jonathan Edwards 18.29 m (60 ft 0 in) (1995)|
|Olympic||Kenny Harrison 18.09 m (59 ft 4 in) (1996)|
|World||Inessa Kravets 15.50 m (50 ft 10 in) (1995)|
|Olympic||Françoise Mbango 15.39 m (50 ft 5¾ in) (2008)|
The triple jump, sometimes referred to as the hop, step and jump or the hop, skip and jump, is a track and field sport, similar to the long jump, but involving a "hop, bound and jump": the competitor runs down the track and performs a hop, a bound and then a jump into the sand pit. The triple jump has its origins in the ancient Olympic Games and has been a modern Olympics event since the Games' inception in 1896.
According to IAAF rules, "the hop shall be made so that an athlete lands first on the same foot as that from which he has taken off; in the step he shall land on the other foot, from which, subsequently, the jump is performed." 
The current male and female world record holders are Jonathan Edwards of Great Britain, with a jump of 18.29 m (60 ft 0 in), and Inessa Kravets of Ukraine, with a jump of 15.50 m (50 ft 10 in). Both records were set during 1995 World Championships in Gothenburg.
The triple jump, or at least a variant involving three jumps one after the other, has its roots in the Ancient Greek Olympics, with records showing athletes attaining distances of more than 50 feet (15.24 m).
The triple jump was a part of the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens, although at the time it consisted of two hops on the same foot and then a jump. In fact, the first modern Olympic champion, James Connolly, was a triple jumper. Early Olympics also included the standing triple jump, although this has since been removed from the Olympic program and is rarely performed in competition today. The women's triple jump was introduced into the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
The athlete sprints down a runway to a takeoff mark, from which the triple jump is measured. The takeoff mark is commonly a physical piece of wood or similar material embedded in the runway, or a rectangle painted on the runway surface. In modern championships a strip of plasticine, tape, or modeling clay is attached to the far edge of the board to record athletes overstepping or "scratching" the mark, defined by the trailing edge of the board. There are three phases of the triple jump: the "hop" phase, the "bound" or "step" phase, and the "jump" phase. These three phases are executed in one continuous sequence.
The hop starts with the athlete jumping from the take off board on one leg, which for descriptive purposes will be the right leg . The objective of the first phase is to hop out, focusing all momentum forward. The hop landing phase is very active, involving a powerful backward "pawing" action of the right leg, with the right take-off foot landing heel first on the runway. The hop landing also marks the beginning of the step phase, where the athlete utilises the backward momentum of the right leg to immediately execute a powerful jump forwards and upwards, the left leg assisting the take-off with a powerful hip flexion thrust. This leads to the familiar step-phase mid-air position, with the right take off leg trailing flexed at the knee, and the left leg now leading flexed at the hip and knee. The jumper then holds this position for as long as possible, before extending the knee of the leading left leg and then immediately beginning a powerful backward motion of the whole left leg, again landing on the runway with a powerful pawing action. The step landing forms the beginning of the take-off of the final phase (the jump), where the athlete utilises the backward force from the left leg to take off again. The jump phase is very similar to the long jump although most athletes have lost too much speed by this time to manage a full hitch kick, and most use a hang or sail technique. When landing in the sand-filled pit, the jumper should aim to avoid sitting back on landing, or placing either hand behind the feet. The sand pit usually begins 13m from the take off board for male international competition, or 11m from the board for international female and club-level male competition. Each phase of the triple jump should get progressively higher, and there should be a regular rhythm to the 3 landings.
A "foul", also known as a "scratch," or missed jump, occurs when a jumper oversteps the takeoff mark, misses the pit entirely, does not use the correct foot sequence throughout the phases, or does not perform the attempt in the allotted amount of time (usually about 90 seconds). When a jumper "scratches," the seated official will raise a red flag and the jumper who was "on deck," or up next, prepares to jump.
|Mark (m)||Athlete||Mark (m)||Athlete|
|World||18.29 m (60 ft 0 in)||Jonathan Edwards (GBR)||15.50 m (50 ft 10 in)||Inessa Kravets (UKR)|
|Africa||17.37 m (56 ft 11¾ in)||Tarik Bouguetaïb (MAR)||15.39 m (50 ft 5¾ in)||Françoise Mbango Etone (CMR)|
|Asia||17.59 m (57 ft 8½ in)||Yanxi Li (CHN)||15.25 m (50 ft 0¼ in)||Olga Rypakova (KAZ)|
|Europe||18.29 m (60 ft 0 in)||Jonathan Edwards (GBR)||15.50 m (50 ft 10 in)||Inessa Kravets (UKR)|
|North, Central America
|18.09 m (59 ft 4 in)||Kenny Harrison (USA)||15.29 m (50 ft 1¾ in)||Yamilé Aldama (CUB)|
|Oceania||17.46 m (57 ft 3¼ in)||Ken Lorraway (AUS)||14.04 m (46 ft 0¾ in)||Nicole Mladenis (AUS)|
|South America||17.9 m (58 ft 8½ in)||Jadel Gregório (BRA)||14.99 m (49 ft 2 in)||Caterine Ibargüen (COL)|
- Updated 13 August 2011.
Top ten performers
Accurate as of August 18, 2013.
Note: These are the top 10 performers of all time, not the top 10 performances. Other legal jumps by people on this list that would exceed the shortest jump on this list are noted below the table.
|18.29 1||1.3||Jonathan Edwards (GBR)||Gothenburg||August 7, 1995|
|18.09 2||-0.4||Kenny Harrison (USA)||Atlanta||July 27, 1996|
|18.04 3||0.3||Teddy Tamgho (FRA)||Moscow||August 18, 2013|
|17.97||1.5||Willie Banks (USA)||Indianapolis||June 16, 1985|
|17.96||0.1||Christian Taylor (USA)||Daegu||September 4, 2011|
|17.92||1.6||Khristo Markov (BUL)||Rome||August 31, 1987|
|17.92||1.9||James Beckford (JAM)||Odessa||May 20, 1995|
|17.90||0.4||Jadel Gregório (BRA)||Belém||May 20, 2007|
|17.90||1.0||Volodymyr Inozemtsev (URS)||Bratislava||June 20, 1990|
|17.89||0.0||João Carlos de Oliveira (BRA)||Mexico City||October 15, 1975|
- 1 Edwards also has legal jumps of 18.16m, 18.01m, 18.00m, 17.99m, 17.98m and 17.92m. The longest wind-aided jump of 18.43m (+2.4 m/s) was also performed by Edwards.
- 2 Harrison also has legal jumps of 17.99 m and 17.93 m.
- 3 Tamgho also has legal jumps of 17.98 m and 17.91 m.
These three men have all top 10 jumps of all time : six for Edwards, two each for Harrison and Tamgho.
|17.92||Teddy Tamgho (FRA)||Paris||March 6, 2011|
|17.83||Aliecer Urrutia (CUB)||Sindelfingen||March 1, 1997|
|17.83||Christian Olsson (SWE)||Budapest||March 7, 2004|
|17.77||Leonid Voloshin (RUS)||Grenoble||February 2, 1994|
|17.76||Mike Conley (USA)||New York City||February 22, 1987|
|17.75||Phillips Idowu (GBR)||Valencia||March 9, 2008|
|17.74||Marian Oprea (ROU)||Bucharest||February 18, 2006|
|17.73||Fabrizio Donato (ITA)||Paris||March 6, 2011|
|17.73||Walter Davis (USA)||Moskow||March 12, 2006|
|17.72||Brian Wellman (BER)||Barcelona||March 12, 2005|
Note: Again, these are the top 10 performers of all time, not the top 10 performances.
|15.50 1||0.9||Inessa Kravets (UKR)||Gothenburg||August 10, 1995|
|15.39 2||0.5||Françoise Mbango Etone (CMR)||Beijing||August 17, 2008|
|15.34 3||-0.5||Tatyana Lebedeva (RUS)||Heraklion||July 4, 2004|
|15.32 4||0.9||Hrysopiyi Devetzi (GRE)||Athens||August 21, 2004|
|15.29 5||0.3||Yamilé Aldama (CUB)||Rome||July 11, 2003|
|15.28||0.9||Yargelis Savigne (CUB)||Osaka||August 31, 2007|
|15.25||1.7||Olga Rypakova (KAZ)||Split||September 4, 2010|
|15.20||0.0||Šárka Kašpárková (CZE)||Athens||August 4, 1997|
|15.20||-0.3||Tereza Marinova (BUL)||Sydney||September 24, 2000|
|15.18||0.3||Iva Prandzheva (BUL)||Gothenburg||August 10, 1995|
- 1 Kravets also has a legal jump of 15.33 m.
- 2 Mbango Etone also has legal jumps of 15.30 and 15.19 m.
- 3 Lebedeva also has legal jumps of 15.33, 15.32, 15.25, 15.23 and 15.18 m.
- 4 Devetzi also has legal jumps of 15.25, 15.23 and 15.22 m.
- 5 Aldama also has legal jumps of 15.28, 15.27 and 15.21 m.
Best year performance
Men's season's best
Women's seasons best
Other famous triple jumpers
- Ashia Hansen
- Józef Schmidt
- Vilho Tuulos
- Aliecer Urrutia
- Marija Sestak
- Adhemar da Silva
- Nelson Prudêncio
- Samyr Laine
- "IAAF Competition Rules 2012-2013". Retrieved 2013-08-18.
- Rosenbaum, Mike (2012). An Illustrated History of the Triple Jump. Retrieved from http://trackandfield.about.com/od/triplejump/ss/illustriplejump.htm.
- "Athletics at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games: Women's Triple Jump". Sports-reference.com. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
- Adams, Patricia (2006-03-01). History of the Highland Games and Women in Scottish Athletics. ...contained in the Irish "Book of Leinster", which was written in the twelfth century AD...this book describes the Tailteann Games held at Telltown, County Meath from 1829 BC until at least 554 BC...included in these events...were the geal-ruith (triple jump). Clan MacTavish Genealogy and History, 1 March 2006. Retrieved from http://www.dunardry.net/ladies_lounge.html.
- Triple Jump Records. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-06-19.
- "Men indoor - Triple Jump All Time". Iaaf.org. Retrieved 2013-08-18.