Create
Notifications

Most successful female high jumpers at the Summer Olympics

An athlete competes in the Women's High Jump Qualifying event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
An athlete competes in the Women's High Jump Qualifying event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
FEATURED COLUMNIST

The High Jump event comes under the track and field jumping events at the Summer Olympics.

While the men's high jump has been part of the Summer Olympics since 1896, when the first Games were held, the women's high jump was added to the roster from 1928 Summer Olympics.

With the Tokyo Olympics fast approaching, let's look at the most successful female high jumpers at the Summer Olympics.

The list includes a 14-time world record holder and another high jumper, who holds the distinction of being the youngest Olympic women’s high jump champion.

(Note - Ranking is based on gold medal count. If athletes have equal number of gold medals, number of silver medals followed by bronze medals have been used as the deciding factors for the rankings)


#3 - Sara Simeoni (Italy)

Total Medals Won: 3 (G - 1, S - 2, B - 0)

1976: Silver, 1980: Gold, 1984: Silver

Sara Simeoni at the Women's High Jump event at the XXIII Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, United States
Sara Simeoni at the Women's High Jump event at the XXIII Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, United States

Italy's Sara Simeoni won her first Olympic medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics with a jump of 1.91m.

Four years later, Simeoni cleared the height of 1.97m to win gold at the 1980 Summer Olympics.

The Italian picked up her third and final Olympic medal at the 1984 Games with a leap of 2.00m to win the silver.


#1 - Iolanda Balas (Romania)

Total Medals Won: 2 (G - 2, S - 0, B - 0)

1960: Gold, 1964: Gold

Romania's Iolanda Balas wins the gold medal in the final of the ladies high jump at the Rome Olympics, 9th September 1960
Romania's Iolanda Balas wins the gold medal in the final of the ladies high jump at the Rome Olympics, 9th September 1960

Romania's Iolanda Balas was the most dominant figure in women's high jump of her time, breaking the world record an incredible 14 times.

The Romanian won gold at the 1960 and 1964 Summer Olympics, the first with a leap of 1.85m and the second with a leap of 1.90m.

Balas was voted the best female high jumper of the 20th century in the year 2000 by the US magazine Track and Field News.


#1 - Ulrike Meyfarth (Germany)

Total Medals Won: 2 (G - 2, S - 0, B - 0)

1972: Gold, 1984: Gold

Ulrike Nasse-Meyfarth attends the ETL Express Sport Night in 2016 in Cologne, Germany
Ulrike Nasse-Meyfarth attends the ETL Express Sport Night in 2016 in Cologne, Germany

Ulrike Meyfarth won her first gold at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich with a leap of 1.92m at the age of 16, which made her the youngest Olympic champion in the women's high jump event.

“It was very special because it was at home,” Meyfarth said in an interview a few years ago about her first medal. “All the Germans in the stadium were standing behind me, crying behind me. It was like a film. I was very proud. That’s the moment you work for. It’s only a few seconds in your life but they are important and they are decisive in your life.”

Meyfarth failed to qualify for the high jump final at the 1976 Games, and was unable to take part in the next one due to the 1980 Summer Olympics Boycott.

Meyfarth won her second gold at the 1984 Summer Olympics, this time with a leap of 2.02m.

(Inputs based on the official Olympic website)


Notable Mention

At the most recent Summer Olympics in Rio, Spanish high jumper Ruth Beitia won the gold medal at the age of 37, making her the oldest Olympic champion in this event.


Also Read: Heike Drechsler spearheads the list of most successful female long jumpers at the Summer Olympics


Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
Fetching more content...
App download animated image Get the free App now