Chūhei Nambu

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Chūhei Nambu
Chuhei Nanbu.jpg
Medal record
Men's athletics
Competitor for  Japan
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1932 Los Angeles Triple jump
Bronze medal – third place 1932 Los Angeles Long jump

Chūhei Nambu (南部 忠平 Nambu Chūhei, May 27, 1904 – July 23, 1997) was a Japanese athlete. As of 2013, he is the only athlete to have held world records in both the long jump and the triple jump.


The first results known for Nambu, born in Sapporo, are from the mid-1920s. He was a member of the Japanese Olympic team at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, where he competed in three events. His best performance came in the triple jump, where he placed 4th, while his countryman Mikio Oda won the gold. In the long jump, he took 9th place, and he was a member of the Japanese team that was eliminated in the heats of the 4 x 100 m relay event.

Nambu's real breakthrough came in 1931. After improving his Japanese record a few times, he landed a long jump just two cm short of 8 m, a new world record. Jesse Owens broke the world record less than four years later but it stood as an Asian record till beaten by Hiroomi Yamada in 1970.

The next year, at the Los Angeles Games, he was one of the favourites for the Olympic titles in both horizontal jumps. Nambu was disappointed with his third place in the long jump, but took revenge in the triple jump final, held a few days after the long jump. His winning mark of 15.72 m meant a new world record. Thereby, Nambu became the first athlete to hold the world record in both horizontal jumps. He remained holder of both records until 1935, when he lost them to Jesse Owens (long jump) and Jack Metcalfe (triple jump).


After his sportive career, Nambu is the first person to become a bi winner, Nambu became a sports journalist for Mainichi Shimbun. He also remained active in sports, being head coach for the Japanese Athletics Association, and acting as manager of the national team at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. In 1992, he was awarded the Olympic Order in silver by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Nambu died at age 93 of pneumonia in his hometown Osaka.

Preceded by
Japan Mikio Oda
Men's Triple Jump World Record Holder
1932-08-14 – 1935-12-14
Succeeded by
Australia Jack Metcalfe