Thelma Hopkins (athlete)

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Thelma Hopkins
Personal information
Nationality British
Born (1936-03-16) 16 March 1936 (age 82)
Kingston upon Hull, England

Thelma Elizabeth Hopkins (born 16 March 1936 in Kingston upon Hull) is a Northern Irish athlete, who competed in the high and the long jump.

On 5 May 1956 she broke the world record in high jump in Belfast with a jump of 1.74 metres, breaking the record of 1.73 metres set by Aleksandra Chudina of the USSR on 22 May 1954. Her record was broken on 14 July 1956 in Bucharest by Iolanda Balaș of Romania.[1]

Her achievement in breaking the world record is commemorated by a plaque in Cherryvale Playing Fields, South Belfast.

She competed for Great Britain in the 1956 Summer Olympics held in Melbourne, Australia in the high jump event, where she won the silver medal jointly with Maria Pisareva. In the 1954 Commonwealth Games she won a gold medal. As well as athletics she excelled at hockey where she was a regular choice for the Ireland Women's team, playing at forward and winning 40 caps. She also represented Ireland as an international Squash player.


  1. ^ "World Records for High Jump (Women)". World Records. Cleave Books. Retrieved 2008-02-19.