Edwards silences the doubters
Briton Jonathan Edwards won the men's Olympic triple jump gold at the Sydney Games on Monday, erasing any lingering doubts that he can cope with pressure.
The world record holder, Edwards cleared a year's best 17.71 metres to beat Yoel Garcia of Cuba (17.47) and Denis Kapustin of Russia (17.46).
Edwards, the son of a church minister, had dominated the event since 1995 yet consistently failed to perform in the top championships since winning the world title in 1995.
A series of foot and leg injuries did not help but Edwards was increasingly being accused of lacking the killer instinct.
After winning that world crown in Gothenburg, Sweden, with a world record leap of 18.29 metres, Edwards finished second at the 1996 Olympics, second in the 1997 world championships and third in the worlds last season, each time behind a different winner.
American Kenny Harrison, the 1996 Olympics gold medallist, failed to qualify for the Games after failing in the U.S. trials.
Edwards, 34, had also registered the previous longest jump of 2000 when leaping 17.62 metres in August.
The Briton, who has recorded the four longest jumps in history, began his career by refusing to jump on Sundays because of his Christian faith, causing him to miss the 1991 world championships.
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