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Triple Jump Event: Its History, Rules, Techniques, Equipment, World Records | All You Need To Know

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The triple jump, also known as hop, step, and jump, is a track and field event in athletics, which is rather similar to the long jump. The two events are often held together in a group termed the ‘horizontal jumps’. In this, the competitor runs down the track and performs a hop, bound, and then jumps into the sand. The sand is placed there to cushion the impact from the jump. The triple jump event is believed to have been inspired by the ancient Olympic games and has been a staple of the modern Olympic games ever since its inception in 1896.
According to the rules of the World Athletics,

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“The hop shall be made so that an athlete lands first on the same foot as that from which he has taken off; in the step, he shall land on the other foot, from which, subsequently, the jump is performed.”

History of Triple Jump

History of the Triple Jump
Image Source: LiveAbout

Historical evidence of the ancient Olympic Games points to the existence of events in which jumps of about 15 meters were made. Since theoretically and physically making a jump of such length in a single jump is rather impossible, this led sports historians to conclude that these must have been made by a series of jumps, thus leading to the foundation of the basis of the triple jump. This was purely conjectured by the historians, as there is no concrete evidence citing the existence of triple jumps.
The triple jump that is known today was a part of the inaugural modern Olympics in 1896 held in Athens. Although at that time, the event merely consisted of two hops on the same foot and then a jump. It is also worth mentioning that the very first modern Olympic champion, James Connolly, was a triple jumper. The women’s triple jump event was introduced at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

Also Read | Long Jump Event – Everything You Need To Know About The Sport

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Triple Jump: Equipment needed for the event

Image Source: inchemco.ven

As with any other track and field event, the equipment required in this sport is also the bare minimum. More or less, the equipment required for the triple jump is the runway on which the athlete will run, and a takeoff board, which is rather similar to those used in the long jump. The difference lies in that the board is at least 13 meters (42.7 feet) from the landing area for men and 11 meters (36 feet) for women.

Rules of the game

  • Triple jump includes approach run, hop, step, and then jump. If the player misses any one of these, it will be considered a foul.
  • The athlete is allowed to jump off from the takeoff board or behind it.
  • The jump will be considered a foul if the athlete’s feet touch the ground beyond the take-off board.
  • It is considered a foul if the athlete walks back through the landing area.
  • The distance should be measured from the take-off point to the back of the heels/to the nearest point in contact with the sand
  • A red flag should be raised in case of a foul and a white flag in case of a right jump.
  • Even a foul jump will be considered an attempt.

Triple Jump: Technique/ How to perform

The methodology to execute the triple jump involves certain phases/stages. These are as follows:

Image Source: TDK Corporation


The approach is the most important step of the athlete’s jump. In this, the sprinter runs down a runway to a takeoff mark, which is marked according to the measurements taken. Then, certain boards are put up, written in them the distance depending on how far the athlete can jump. Typically, the boards are set 40 ft, 32 ft, and 24 ft from the pit.
Then what follows are the most important phases of the event: the hop, step, and jump. These three determine how far you travel. These three are all executed in one continuous sequence, and it determines how far the athlete jumps. The athlete has to maintain a good speed through each phase and should also try to stay consistent to avoid fouls.

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Triple jump | KreedOn
Image Source- Wikipedia

This step begins with the athlete jumping off from the take-off board on one leg. Precise placement is pivotal in this step, as it helps prevent fouls. The athlete ought to hop putting all of his or her momentum forward.


This is the next stage. In this the athlete uses the backward momentum to immediately execute a powerful jump forward and upwards, leading to the step-phase mid-air position. The jumper tries to hold this position for as long as possible. The takeoff leg should be fully extended with the drive leg thigh just below parallel to the ground. The takeoff leg stays extended behind the body with the heel held high. Throughout this stage, the athlete tries to take the farthest step that they can to cover more ground.


Triple Jump
Image Source: The New York Times

This step marks the final stage of the series of stages undertaken during the triple jump. In this, the athlete makes use of the backward force to take off again. The jump phase is much identical to the long jump and generally, most athletes lose most of the momentum by the time they reach this stage.
A precaution that ought to be taken is that while landing in the sand-filled pit, the jumper should avoid sitting back or landing hand behind their feet, as this may lead to severe injury.

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A foul, also known as a scratch or missed jump occurs when the athlete oversteps the takeoff mark, misses the pit and does not follow the sequence correctly, or does not perform the act in the allotted time slot i.e. 90 seconds. This leads to the elimination of the jumper.

High Jump- KreedOnAlso Read | High Jump Event – Know its History, Techniques, Rules, Fosbury Flop

Triple Jump World Records (As of 2022)


Area Mark Athlete
World 18.29 m (60 ft 0 in) Jonathan Edwards (GBR)
Africa 18.07 m (59 ft 3+14 in) Hugues Fabrice Zango (BUR)
Asia 17.59 m (57 ft 8+12 in) Yanxi Li (CHN)
Europe 18.29 m (60 ft 0 in) Jonathan Edwards (GBR)
North, Central America and Caribbean 18.21 m (59 ft 8+34 in) Christian Taylor (USA)
Oceania 17.46 m (57 ft 3+14 in) Ken Lorraway (AUS)
South America 17.90 m (58 ft 8+12 in) Jadel Gregório (BRA)



Area Mark Athlete
World 15.74 m (51 ft 7+12 in) i Yulimar Rojas (VEN)
Africa 15.39 m (50 ft 5+34 in) Françoise Mbango Etone (CMR)
Asia 15.25 m (50 ft 14 in) Olga Rypakova (KAZ)
Europe 15.50 m (50 ft 10 in) Inessa Kravets (UKR)
North, Central America and Caribbean 15.29 m (50 ft 1+34 in) Yamilé Aldama (CUB)
Oceania 14.04 m (46 ft 34 in) Nicole Mladenis (AUS)
South America 15.74 m (51 ft 7+12 in) i Yulimar Rojas (VEN)

List of Indian Triple Jumpers

Henry Rebello | KreedOn
Henry Rebello, Image Source- Deccan Herald
  • Suresh Babu
  • Abdulla Aboobacker
  • Eldhose Paul
  • Mehar Chand Dhawan
  • Henry Rebello
  • Mayookha Johny
  • N.V. Sheena

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