John Herbert (athlete)

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John Herbert (born 20 April 1962) in Meadows, Nottingham is a graduate of Central Art and Design. A retired English sportsperson, who represented Great Britain as both a triple jumper and a bobsledder. Competing in athletics, he won the gold medal for England in the Triple Jump at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. During his career in athletics Herbert also competed in the sport of bobsleigh. He competed in the four-man bobsleigh event at the 1994 Winter Olympics (finishing in eighth place), having previously competed as a triple jumper at the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics when he finished 10th and the Seoul 1988 Summer Olympics.

Athletics career[edit]

Herbert competed in athletics as a triple jumper in the 1980s and 1990s. He qualified in two Summer Olympics, finishing 10th in 1984, failing to make the final in 1988. Herbert also represented Great Britain at the 1983 and 1991 World Championships in Athletics in Helsinki and Tokyo, but did not qualify for the final. In 1985 he won the European Cup in Moscow with a jump of 17'39". He also competed at two World Student Games finishing third at both Edmonton, Canada, 1983 and Kobe, Japan, 1985. Herbert also won numerous UK championships and AAA championships at both long jump and triple jump.

Bobsleigh career[edit]

Herbert switched to bobsleigh in 1993. His best finish at the Winter Olympics was eighth in the four-man event at Lillehammer in 1994 together with Shaun Olson, Dean Ward and Paul Field. Herbert is the first black British athlete to compete in both Winter and Summer Olympics.

Coaching career[edit]

Herbert served as an athletics coach for the jumping events at the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Summer Olympics for Great Britain. He was coach to Olympic silver medallist until 2008 and coached Jade Johnson until 2012.

Herbert was able to transfer his success in athletics into coaching. He is currently National Event coach for Jumps; he was also Great Britain U23 team manager until 2011. As a coach, John has mentored many outstanding British athletes including Phillips Idowu whom he coached from 1998 to 2008.[1]

Film, Media and Art career[edit]

Herbert has worked for a multitude of media organisations including creative departments at the BBC and as Creative Director at Meridian Broadcasting, part of ITV Network. He now divides his time between philanthropic works and athletics coaching. In 2017, Herbert became involved with the Art of the Olympians.


  1. ^ Idowu and Herbert Part Ways. Athletics Weekly (2008-04-24). Retrieved on 2009-01-28.

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