Olympics 2012: Jonathan Edwards divided over world record

Jonathan Edwards said losing his world triple jump record at the 2012 Olympic games in London would be a bittersweet experience.

The former Olympic champion jumped 18.29 metres at the 1995 World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden for a record which remains unbeaten.

"I'd be delighted for whoever did it," Edwards told BBC Look North.

"But there will be another part of me that would be sad, because it has been great to be the world record holder."

Edwards added: "Seventeen years on I'm getting quite attached to that record.

"It's an amazing thing to think nobody has jumped further than me, it's almost more special than Olympic gold."

The pressure of the record

Jonathan Edwards and Kenny Harrison shake hands on the podium
  • Edwards' appearance at the 1996 Atlanta games in the United States was expected to crown his place in Olympic history, coming a year after his world record jump at the World Championships in Gothenburg
  • However Edwards, then 29, had to make do with silver after he was pipped by Kenny Harrison, whose jump of 18.09 metres smashed an Olympic record.
  • Edwards said: "You line up for an Olympic final and everyone outside thinks you just need to hop, skip and jump and they give you the gold.
  • "But you look around and nobody's giving you anything, and I was beaten by a brilliant American in Kenny Harrison."

The Windsor-born athlete, who now resides in the north east, was expected to follow up his record with Olympic recognition at the following years games in Atlanta, after unsuccessful appearances at Seoul and Barcelona.

Disappointment followed, and it was not until four years later upon which the then 34-year-old appeared for his last attempt in Sydney, that Edwards added the sport's most prestigious prize to the haul of medals accrued throughout a career that spanned three decades.

"Having broken the world record in 1995, the assumption was that I would become Olympic champion," he added.

"I felt a lot of pressure, since breaking the record, I'd lost in Atlanta, I'd lost in two world championships.

"It was the last chance saloon [in Sydney 2000], but at the same time because of the experiences I'd had, there was a philosophical side to it - what will be will be.

"I'd first competed in the Olympics in 1988, and here I was 12 years later as Olympic champion,"

"It wasn't a punch the air moment, more a quiet satisfaction of a job well done."