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Brill in 1972
|Full name||Debbie Arden Brill|
March 10, 1953 |
Mission, British Columbia, Canada
|Achievements and titles|
|Highest world ranking||1st (1979)|
Debbie Brill, OC (born March 10, 1953) is a Canadian high jump athlete who was the first North American woman to clear 6 feet, at age 16. Her unique reverse jumping style was called the "Brill Bend" and was developed independently about the same time as Dick Fosbury was developing the similar Fosbury Flop in the USA. This style of jumping revolutionized the event and is now almost exclusively the technique of elite high jumpers. Because Fosbury won the Gold medal at the 1968 Olympics, he is more often credited with the invention. She is an eleven-time national champion of Canada.
Brill was born in Mission, British Columbia and started competing provincially in British Columbia in 1966, at age 13. The following year, she competed at the Canadian national level. Her first international competition was in 1968, at age 15.
Brill has held the Canadian National High Jump record since 1969, establishing her first Canadian High Jump record when she was 16. She set her final Canadian outdoor record in September 1984 with 1.98 metres (6 ft 6 in). Her indoor record of 1.99 metres (6 ft 6 in) was set in 1982. As of 2013, Brill's Canadian records still stand.
Debbie won the Gold medal at the first Pacific Conference Games in 1969. She would again win the Pacific Conference Games title in 1977.
Debbie won the 1970 Commonwealth Games title, and the 1971 Pan Am Games. She retired after the 1972 Munich Games after becoming disillusioned with the Olympic experience; and returned to competition in 1975 and placed 4th at the Pan Am Games.
She was disappointed at the 1976 Montreal Olympics where she failed to qualify for the final. She placed 3rd at the first World Cup in 1977, and won a silver medal at home in Edmonton, at the 1978 Commonwealth Games.
In 1979 Brill won a gold medal in the athletics World Cup held in Montreal, Canada. She was the world's number one high jumper for 1979.
Having been ranked number one in the world by Track and Field News in 1979, Brill was one of the favourites going into the 1980 Olympics which Canada boycotted because of the U.S.S.R.'s military involvement in Afghanistan.
In January 1982, Brill established a World Indoor High Jump record of 1.99 meters in Edmonton, Alberta, 5 months after giving birth to her first son, Neil. She has a daughter, Katelin, and a son, Jacob. She is married to a physician, Dr. Douglas Coleman.
Debbie was again Commonwealth Champion in 1982 at the games in Brisbane.
From 1970 to 1985, in the annual Track and Field News merit rankings, Brill was ranked in the world's top ten for the high jump twelve times (the exceptions being 1973, 74, 76 and 81; with 76 being the only active year of the four). She was ranked in the top 5 six times. The only female high jumpers with more top ten rankings are Inha Babakova and Stefka Kostadinova, both with thirteen.
In 1999, at the age of 46, Brill broke the world masters record (age 45+) when she cleared 1.76 metres in Gateshead. In 2004, she broke the age 50+ masters record by clearing 1.60 m in Langley. As of 2016, Brill's world age group records still stand.
- Canadian National High Jump Record – 1.98 m (1984, has held national record since 1969)
- Canadian National Indoor Record – 1.99 m (1982, former world indoor record)
- World Masters Record (W45+) – 1.76 (1999)
- World Masters Record (W50+) – 1.60 m (2004)
- 11 times Canadian National High Jump Champion – 1968-71,1974,1976,1978,1980,1982-1984
- 2 times United States National High Jump Champion – 1979, 1982
- AAAs National (UK) High Jump Champion – 1971
|1969||Pacific Conference Games||Tokyo, Japan||1st||1.71 m|
|1970||Commonwealth Games||Edinburgh, Scotland||1st||1.78 m|
|1971||Pan American Games||Cali, Colombia||1st||1.85 m|
|1972||Olympic Games||Munich, West Germany||8th||1.82 m|
|1975||Pan American Games||Mexico City, Mexico||4th|
|1976||Olympic Games||Montreal, Canada||—||no-height|
|1977||Universiade||Sofia, Bulgaria||2nd||1.90 m|
|Pacific Conference Games||Canberra, Australia||1st||1.88 m|
|1977||World Cup||Düsseldorf, Germany||3rd||1.89 m|
|1978||Commonwealth Games||Edmonton, Canada||2nd||1.90 m|
|1979||Pan American Games||San Juan, Puerto Rico||3rd||1.85 m|
|World Cup||Montreal, Canada||1st||1.96 m|
|1982||Commonwealth Games||Brisbane, Australia||1st||1.88 m|
|1983||World Championships||Helsinki, Finland||6th||1.88 m|
|1984||Olympic Games||Los Angeles, United States||5th||1.94 m|
|1985||World Indoor Games||Paris, France||3rd||1.90 m|
|1986||Commonwealth Games||Edinburgh, United Kingdom||5th||1.88 m|
Note: At the 1976 Olympic Games, Brill had three failures at her opening height of 1.75 m in the qualifying round.
|USA National High Jump Champion
|USA National High Jump Champion