Lynn davies long jump

lynn davies long jump

Lynn Davies CBE (born 20 May 1942) is a Welsh former track and field athlete who specialised in the long jump. He was the 1964 Olympic champion in the event. In 1968 Lynn Davies, the 1964 Olympic Champion, leapt 8.23m. whilst competing in Berne to improve his British long jump record. It was 50 years ago today when 'Lynn the Leap' Davies produced one of Wales most memorable sporting moments by soaring to Olympic long jump. lynn davies long jump

Prompt: Lynn davies long jump

Lynn davies long jump
Lynn davies long jump

Every Welsh sports fan knows that Lynn Davies won an Olympic gold medal in 1964. But fewer realise that his koozi sport long jump – 8.23m – is still a Welsh record that has now stood for an astonishing half a century. Clive Williams looks at the man and the measurements.

Fifty years ago this week, Lynn Davies – still Wales’ only individual Olympic gold medallist in the traditional track and field events – long jumped over the magical 27 foot barrier (8.23m) in Switzerland and set a British record that was to stand for a remarkable third of a century.

The jump remains the Welsh record to this day and is likely to stand for many a year as current Welsh long jumping standards are in the doldrums, with only two Welshmen over 23 feet (7m) so far this year, let alone 27 feet. Such is the brilliance of Lynn Davies, arguably Wales’ finest ever sportsman.

But the lynn davies long jump in Berne on that historic day were in stark contrast to those the former UK Athletics president encountered when he won his Olympic title in rain swept Tokyo in 1964.

Said Lynn when I caught up with him last week: galaxy by harvic basketball shorts temperature in Berne was a sweltering 35 degrees. I had to pour a bottle of water over my head to cool down, and it seemed to work”.

“It was the last jump of the competition, and I knew that it was a good jump as soon as I came out of the pit. I was euphoric as the jump came after injuries to both ankles and a niggling hamstring problem”.

He continued: “I had no idea that the record would stand for 33 years”.

He is still to this day one of only four British athletes to have jumped over the 27 foot barrier.

Lynn’s UK record was eventually beaten by three-time Olympian Chris Tomlinson when he added a mere 4 cms to Lynn’s leap in the Florida sunshine in 2002. The 2012 Olympic champion, lynn davies long jump, Greg Rutherford, has since taken the record to 8.50m today.

Nathan Morgan is the only other UK athlete to have bettered the 27 foot barrier with his 27’ 1¼ (8.26m) leap in high velocity paintball gun Lynn’s 8.23m stood as the British record for 33 years, he had been the British record holder since 1962 when he jumped 7.72m as a 20 year-old college student at the Perth Commonwealth Games. Agonisingly, he finished just outside the medals with the only legal jump amongst the first five athletes.

Said Lynn: “a tiny puff of wind would have given me the 2 cms I needed to take the silver medal, although I was way off Ghanaian Mike Ahey’s winning jump of 8.05m which was a Games record”.

Lynn made amends by winning Commonwealth gold in both Jamaica (1966) and Edinburgh (1970). He also took the European title in Budapest in 1966 to become the first British athlete to hold gold medals at the three major athletics gatherings at the same time. There were no world championships in those days. Lynn subsequently gained revenge over Ahey two years later in Tokyo with the Ghanaian finishing back in seventh place.

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Lynn’s performance in Berne on June 30th 1968 was part of the UK v Switzerland match and the Nantymoel-born superstar was only the fourth athlete then to better the magical 27 foot barrier.

At the time, only the Olympic champion Ralph Boston of the USA – the man he beat to win gold in Tokyo – and the reigning world record holder Igor Ter-Ovanesyan of the then USSR had jumped further. American Bob Beamon’s best at that time was a windy lynn davies long jump and of course he went on to win the Olympic gold medal in the verified Mexico atmosphere to set a world record of 8.90m which was to stand until Mike Powell jumped 8.95m 23 years later.

Lynn said after the event: “I lost all interest in the competition following Beamon’s phenomenal jump which not only eclipsed the 28 foot barrier but the 29 foot lynn davies long jump one go”.

Forever the realist, Lynn knew that whilst a 28 foot leap may have been possible, a 29 foot jump was out of the question.

Country v country international matches were a key feature of the UK athletics season in those days. There were no Diamond Leagues and suchlike at the time and Britain’s best athletes fought tooth and nail to get selection for British teams.

In that Switzerland match there were three other Welsh athletes competing – Howard Davies, the Newport sprinter, West Walian 400m star Gwynne Griffiths and Aberdare’s Ron Jones.

Former Cardiff City Managing Director Ron was in outstanding form as he took the 100m in 10.3 secs to equal Rhymney-born Berwyn Jones’ Welsh record.

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But it was not only as a long jumper he excelled. His first Welsh title came as a triple jumper in 1961 when as a 19 year-old he was still at Ogmore County Lynn davies long jump School.

He gave clear indications of his future jumping potential taking lynn davies long jump event in 14.61m – then the fourth best on record by a Welshman – but ironically was beaten in the long jump by Welsh record holder Bryan Woolley.

It was Wooley’s Welsh record of 7.36m that Lynn eventually beat by just 3 cms in Barry the following year. And he’s bettered the record on no less than twelve occasions to hold the record for a remarkable 56 years.

And it’s likely to stand for another 56 years judging by the poor men’s long jumping standards we are currently seeing in Wales.

As well as his jumping exploits, Lynn was an outstanding sprinter being amongst Britain’s best. He was a regular member of Britain’s sprint relay team and he just missed a Commonwealth bronze medal for Wales by a mere 2 tenths of a second at the 1966 Jamaica Games. Earlier, he had triumphed in the long jump. His best 100m time of 10.51 secs set in Mexico in 1967 would still have ranked him as the third fastest Welshman last year despite the much more favourable running surfaces of today.

Is that performance a sign of Lynn’s brilliance or an indication of current Welsh sprinting standards? It’s a combination of both I guess.

Only three other Welsh athletes can be spoken of in the same breath as the Nantymoel superstar – Colin Jackson, Steve Jones and Dai Greene with Jackson and Jones setting world records in standard Olympic events.

Jackson’s word record for the 110m hurdles of 12.91sec stood for eleven years and then it lynn davies long jump only equalled by China’s Liu Xiang who made the record his own two years later.

It’s almost forgotten that Cardiff-born Colin is still the world record holder for the indoor 60m hurdles which he set with a time of 6.30 secs in 1994.

Newport Harrier Jones set the world’s best for the marathon in 1985 (2 hrs 07 mins 13 secs) and this remained the UK record for almost 33 years  until beaten by a certain Mo Farah in London earlier this year. Both marks are still Welsh records and as with Lynn’s long jump will remain Welsh records for many a day.

Swansea’s 2011 World 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene has had a difficult couple of years after being plagued by injury but is still hopeful of recapturing some of the form that saw him win European and Commonwealth gold medals in 2010.

His welsh record of 47.68 secs is the second fastest time recorded by a British athlete behind Kriss Akabussi.

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In a glittering career, Lynn now in his 76th year and looking almost as fit as he was in his competitive days, won the prestigious BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year competition twice and after receiving an MBE in 1967 was awarded a CBE in 2006.

Surely, a knighthood is around the corner.


International Championships
European Championships, Belgrade (11th LJ)
Commonwealth Games, Perth (4th LJ, 100y QF)
Olympic Games, Tokyo (1st LJ, 8th 100m)
World University Games, Budapest (2nd LJ)
Commonwealth Games, Kingston (1st LJ, 100y SF, 4th 4x110y)
European Championships, Budapest (1st LJ, 5th 4x100m)
European Indoor Games, Prague (1st LJ)
Olympic Games, Mexico (9th LJ)
European Indoor Games, Belgrade (2nd LJ )
European Championships, Athens (2nd LJ)
Commonwealth Games, Edinburgh (1st LJ, 100m QF, 5th 4x100m)
European Championships, Helsinki (4th LJ)
European Indoor Championships, Grenoble (8th LJ)
Olympic Games, Munich (dnq 18th LJ)

GB Internationals: 43 (1962-72)

National Titles
AAA LJ 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969
AAA Indoor LJ 1963, 1966, 1972
AAA Junior TJ 1961

Welsh AAA
LJ 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966
TJ 1961, 1962,

Personal Bests

100y 9.5 (1964)
100m 10.4 (1967)
220y 21.2 (1966)
Long Jump 8.23 (1968)
Triple Jump 15.43 (1962)

60y 6.3 (1966)
Long Jump 7.97 (1966)

Welsh Sports Personality of the Year
1964, lynn davies long jump, 1966

British / Welsh Records
26.11/1962 Commonwealth Games, Perth  7.72m
16.05.1964  British Games, lynn davies long jump, London  8.00m
25.07.1964  Welsh Games, lynn davies long jump, Cardiff  8.02m
18.10.1964  Olympic Games, lynn davies long jump, Tokyo 8.07m
06.04.1966  Pretoria 8.13m
09.10.1966  Bloemfontein 8.18m
30.06.1968  Berne 8.23m



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Lynn Davies: Celebrating 50 years since Wales was thrilled by 'The Leap's' Olympic gold medal winning jump in Tokyo

It was 50 years ago today when ‘Lynn the Leap’ Davies produced one of Wales most memorable sporting moments by soaring to Olympic long jump gold in Tokyo.

The young 22-year-old from Nantymoel shocked the world and himself by overcoming the wet and windy Japanese conditions to become the only Welshman to win an individual athletics Olympic gold medal.

WalesOnline have invited Davies to recall the remarkable day where he lynn davies long jump his name into Welsh sporting folklore.

My story.

October 18, 1964. It was a day that would change my life forever.

When you win an Olympic gold it is such a powerful feeling that stays with you for the rest of your life.

It will never be topped in your sporting life because the Olympic gold is treasured more than anything.

But winning in Tokyo in my first Games was never part of the plan and totally unexpected.

My main aim that summer was able to qualify for the Great Britain team, which I managed, in the 100m and the long jump.

I was able to do that because of my move to Cardiff Training College, now known as Cardiff Met, lynn davies long jump, in Cyncoed.

There was no athletics facilities at Nantymoel so I spent the time playing rugby and football on the one field there.

When I came to Cardiff in September 1961, my coach and mentor Ron Pickering moved to south Wales from London and suddenly I was in a place which had a running track, gym and excellent lecturers who helped me.

The course developed me as an athlete because it was physically demanding. At the end of those three years in May 1964 I was the fittest I had ever been.

So I was picked lynn davies long jump the Olympics and because the summer had gone well I began to think I could make the final and maybe win the bronze.

I felt I was never going to beat Igor Ter-Ovanesyan or Ralph Boston because used heras fencing were the joint world record holders. They had jumped 8.35m which was almost 30cm longer than my winning jump.

On the day if things went to plan they would get the gold and silver and I was aiming for the bronze medal.

Had it been a warm sunny day Ralph would have probably won gold and Igor silver.

But that was without the elements. The Welsh gods were looking over the stadium because it was truly Welsh weather.

It was a cinder runway and it was the worst day for long jumping I ever remember.

There was a 5m headwind gusting, it was pouring with rain and there were pools of water on the runway.

I had jumped 8m in Cardiff in the rain that summer on a windy day so I knew I was capable of jumping that. But I thought they were as well.

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The weather was not something I had initially welcomed when we got up in the morning.

It was bucketing down with rain. During the drive from the Olympic village to the stadium we were all trying to keep each other’s spirits up.

The qualifying was in the morning and we travelled to the stadium not really looking forward to competing because the weather was so bad.

I almost did not qualify in the morning with two no jumps but luckily on my third I managed 7.78m which was the second longest qualifying leap.

We did not go back lynn davies long jump the village with the main competition starting about 2pm in the afternoon.

Boston and others had asked if another runway with a sandpit in the other direction could be used to avoid the worst of the conditions. That request had been refused.

The turning point.

As the competition progressed it was only after the fourth round I realised I had a chance of winning because the main two were lynn davies long jump down on what they could jump.

I have a vivid memory of when the realisation struck me. We would come down off the runway and there were steps going under the stands where we had some shelter. We were wrapped in blankets and as the afternoon wore on we became wetter and colder and more miserable.

I recall Ralph saying to his colleague ‘Geez, nobody was going to jump 8m today, it’s impossible’.

It was at that moment I realised I could win. I could beat these lynn davies long jump guys who had been my superheroes because I could see they were suffering.

It was not about the guy who could jump the furthest, it was about the guy who could jump the furthest on that particular day in the worst conditions of any Olympic long jump final. That was how the conditions were described afterwards by the great Jessie Owens.

That was the turning point and that is how important psychology is in an Olympic final. Earlier in the week, lynn davies long jump, Mary Rand had won the women’s long jump on the first day of competition and set a world record.

I remember that night she came to the canteen, put the gold medal on the table and said ‘there you are, I’ve done it, now you go and do it’. This inspired me.

The Olympic final is such a lynn davies long jump moment held every four years and when a window of opportunity opens it’s about seizing the chance, lynn davies long jump. This was my opportunity.

I can remember standing there and waiting for the wind detroit lakes hockey lynn davies long jump down in that fifth round. The wind was gusting around from two to 5m and that was the worst thing in long jump because it slows you down.

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I was watching the flag for about up to a minute and suddenly the wind dropped and I took off. I knew it was a good jump and it took about two minutes to measure and the scoreboard showed 8.07m.

The worst thing then was the wait for Igor and Ralph to jump. I had suddenly raised their sights by showing 8m was possible.

On his bowls premier league 2019 results jump Igor jumped 7.99m and Ralph went last and there was a great response from the crowd.

I thought that was it but the scoreboard swung and it showed 8.03m.

Suddenly I had this incredible feeling I had won a competition where four hours earlier I thought I might win the bronze medal.

There was a press conference afterwards and I remember in the victory ceremony standing with Ralph on my right and Igor on my left

These were my two heroes who I had beaten in the Olympic final, lynn davies long jump. It took a long time to sink in.

I went back to the village and had the BBC ringing me for interviews with David Coleman and Frank Bough. I had photographers in my bedroom with my gold medal and all sort of people coming in.

At about 9pm I managed to go out with Ron for a Japanese meal where I managed to drink saki. We had a good night out and reflected on a remarkable day.

The aftermath.

It was the next morning I suddenly realised things would never be the same again. One of my treasured Tokyo memories was when I was sitting with Ron having breakfast.

Ron looked over my shoulder and told me I had a visitor you might recognise. He said ‘Mr Davies, I am Jessie Owens.’ I said: lynn davies long jump know who you are Sir!’

He told me he just wanted to congratulate me on my performance and said he has seen me jump. He sat down with us for about half an hour and we had coffee. For him to do that, a sporting icon who had won four gold medals in Berlin in front of Hitler in 1936, lynn davies long jump, was very humbling and it’s a treasured memory.

Being recognised was something you had to get used to and the media interest the next lynn davies long jump was incredible.

You go to the Olympics Games as part of a team of 65 people. You are vaguely known as someone called Lynn Davies who does the long jump.

When you win suddenly this celebrity status is hoisted upon you. Being 12,000 miles away you have no idea about the reaction back home.

I was getting telegrams in Tokyo every day but the welcome home with the trip to Cardiff Central and up to Nantymoel with everyone out welcoming you was overwhelming.

I remember the front of the Western Mail where they had a picture measuring the jump against a red double decker bus. And Ogwr and District Council marked the length of the jump outside my house and painted a line outside.

There were many nights I would be lying in bed and you could hear the miners from the top club having a long chat saying how far it was and you could hear the clock as they attempted to beat it.

There were a lot of invitations to events like Sports Personality of the Year. I really enjoyed meeting famous people in events in London and I remember sitting alongside Sir Alf Ramsey and Bobby Moore and people like Graham Hill and Henry Cooper were coming up to me and saying well done. It proved your whole identity changes when you become known as an Olympic champion.

It is something that stays your whole life and become part of you.

But I am surprised people still remember it because 50 years is a long time. Maybe it’s because I am the only Welshman to win an individual athletics medal and we are still waiting for another one.

I am just grateful people are still taking an interest and commemorating what happened 50 years ago.

I will mark the day by starting with a run as Powerbug golf bag still do most days and I still go to the gym at Cyncoed three days a week.

My wife, daughter and I will probably then have a nice meal. And 50 years on, we will be drinking red wine this time rather than saki.

Lynn Davies factfile

Born in Nantymoel in 1942, Davies became one of Great Britain’s greatest British athletes and Wales’ most decorated sportsmen. He remains the only Welsh athlete to claim an individual track and field Olympic gold with his Tokyo long jump triumph in 1964.

Known as ‘Lynn The Leap’, lynn davies long jump, Davies was the son of a coalminer and a promising rugby and footballer before concentrating on athletics.

His first taste of international action was in Perth in 1962 at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games where he just missed out on a medal before his Olympic success of 1964.

Davies finished ninth as part of the most famous long jump competition in Mexico City four years later when Bob Sam golden golf jumped a remarkable 8.90m, a world record that stood for 23 years.

Away from the Olympic stage, Davies, lynn davies long jump, who was guided by Ron Pickering, became the first athlete to hold Olympic, lynn davies long jump, European and Commonwealth titles at the same time.

He was a double Commonwealth champion, claimed the European title in 1966 and set 17 British and Commonwealth records.

His leading effort of 8.23m in Berne in 1968 stood for 34 years until it was broken by Chris Tomlinson in April 2002.

Only three British long jumpers have leapt further including London 2012 gold medallist Greg Rutherford.

After retirement, Davies was appointed Canada’s Technical Director for athletics in July 1973 before returning home as technical officer for the Sports Council for Wales and later appointed British athletics team manager,

Davies was also a senior Lecturer at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff and a BBC Wales Sport broadcaster.

He is now President of UK Athletics and was part of the lynn davies long jump lighting ceremony at the London 2012 games. Davies was awarded the MBE in 1967 and the CBE in 2006.

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Lynn Davies

For those of a similar name, see Lynn Davis (disambiguation).

Lynn Davies 1964.jpg

Davies at the 1964 Olympics

Nickname(s)Lynn the Leap
Born (1942-05-20) 20 May 1942 (age 79)
Nantymoel, Wales
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight77 kg (170 lb)
Event(s)Long jump, sprint
ClubRoath Harriers, Cardiff
Cardiff AAC[1]
Personal best(s)LJ – 8.23 m (1968)
100 m – 10.51 (1967)

Lynn DaviesCBE (born 20 May 1942) is a Welsh former track and field athlete who specialised in the long jump. He was the 1964 Olympic champion in the event. He was born in Nantymoel near Bridgend and was a member of the Cardiff Amateur Athletic Club.[2]

Davies won an Olympic gold medal in the long jump in 1964 with a mark of 8.07 metres (26 ft 6 in), earning himself the nickname "Lynn the Leap". He finished ninth in 1968, having been lynn davies long jump bearer at the opening ceremony. In 1964 he also competed in the 100 metres and 4×100 metres contests.[2] He was 18th in the 1972 Olympic long jump,[1] his selection being something of a surprise at the time.[citation needed]

Outside the Olympics, Davies was fast lanes bowling hoopeston il 1966 European champion in the long jump and was the silver medallist lynn davies long jump years later. He was also twice the Commonwealth Games champion, winning titles in 1966 and 1970 (becoming the first man to win that title two times).[1]

Davies was twice a winner of the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year award, lynn davies long jump, taking the honour in 1964 and 1966. After retiring from competitions in 1973 he became technical director of Canadian athletics until 1976 and later prepared the British team for the Moscow Olympics. Davies was created a CBE on 17 Lynn davies long jump 2006, having previously received an MBE in 1967.[1] He was elected unopposed as President of the UK Athletics Members Council for a further four years following the close of nominations.[1]


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Roath Local History Society

I admit it is borderline whether we should include Lynn Davies as a person from Roath, lynn davies long jump.  I was lucky enough to have a quick chat with him recently and by just by virtue of the fact that he is a thoroughly nice man I think we should do our best to include him.

The Olympic gold medal long jump winner in the Tokyo 1964 games was born in Nantmoel, lynn davies long jump, near Bridgend in 1942.  The son of a coal miner, he went to Ogmore Grammar School before moving to Cardiff in 1961 to jt impulse shooting Cardiff Training College in Cyncoed.    He joined Roath Harriers which later merged with Birchgrove Harriers to become Cardiff Amateur Athletic Club with its base at Maindy Stadium, the history of which was covered in our last blog.

Lynn Davies with Ron Pickering

Lynn Davies with coach Ron Pickering (pic GettyImage)

His training runs took in the streets of the area including Roth Park.  His coach and mentor was Ron Pickering, the Welsh national coach, who soon identified Lynn’s athletic skills.  Prior to that he’d had a promising career as a footballer and had had a trial with Cardiff City. Lyn said of his time in Cyncoed that “Suddenly I was in a place which had a running track, gym and excellent lecturers who helped me. At the end of those three years in May 1964 I was the fittest I had ever been.”



Lynn Davies winning gold in Tokyo 1964


Ron Pickering urged him to concentrate on long jumping and the rest as they say is history.   He won an Olympic gold medal in the long jump in 1964 with a jump of 8.07 metres (26 ft 6 in), making him first Welshman to ever win an individual Olympic gold medal. He was the only British man to win Lynn davies long jump Jump gold at the Olympics till Greg Rutherford won gold in 2012.

Since winning gold Lynn Davies has had the nickname “Lynn the Leap”.   At the 1964 Olympics he also ran in the 100 metres and was a member of the relay team which reached the 4x100m final.  And let’s not forget h was a Roath Harrier at the time.  Lynn competed in the next two Olympics in Mexico City and Munich and in Mexico was flag bearer for the British team at the opening ceremony.





Lynn Davies holding the gold medal he won in Tokyo 1964 (Pic: Western Mail)


So what of his non-Olympic achievements?  Davies was the 1966 European champion in the long jump and was the silver medalist three years later.  He was also twice the Commonwealth Games champion, winning titles in 1966 and 1970, becoming the first man to win that title twice.  He thereby became the first athlete to hold Olympic, European and Commonwealth titles at the same time.

Lynn Davies on his way to win a 100 meters invitation race at the British Games, 1966 held at White City, London

Lynn Davies on his way to win a 100 meters invitation race at the British Games, 1966 held at White City, London (pic: London Illustrated News)


His personal bests were: 100 meters – 10.51s (1967); Long Jump – 27′-0″ (8.23m) (1968).  Lynn Davies’ long jump best of 8.23m, set in Berne in June 1968, is still the fourth best long jump of all-time by a British athlete – despite lynn davies long jump improved facilities of today, where all-weather run-ups have replaced the soggy loose cinders that Lynn mostly competed on.  It is also still the longest ever jump by a Welsh athlete.

Lynn Davies was twice a winner of the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year award, taking the honour in 1964 and 1966.





After retiring from competitions in 1973 he became technical director of Canadian athletics until 1976 before returning to live in the Cardiff area where he has lived ever since.  He became British athletics team manager and took up  broadcasting career with BBC Wales.

Davies was created a CBE on 17 June 2006, having previously received an MBE in 1967.

He’s always been regarded as one of the sport’s finest ambassadors which no doubt led him to becoming President of UK Athletics, the governing body of the sport in Great Britain, a position he only stepped down from in 2015.

The college in Cyncoed where Lynn Davies started his athletics career was new in 1961 having previously been at the Heath. It has undergone many name changes over the years but he has maintained a strong association with it.  Not only was he a student there but has also been a Senior Lecturer and an ambassador.

Cardiff Met Cyncoed campus Lynn Davies Photo credit - Peter Creighton

The refectory wall at UWIC Cyncoed campus pays tribute to one of its former students.

I think but am not certain that the name changes have been: archery shops near madison wi it became part of the South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education, then in 1990 Cardiff Institute of Higher Education, in 1996 University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC) and finally in 2009 Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Lynn Davies in 2018 photo Dai Sportlynn davies long jump Davies in 2018 (photo Dai Sport)

So why so I say its borderline whether he is famous Roath man? Well, the Cyncoed campus sits literally just outside the border of the old Parish of Roath.  Lynn, with one of his famous jumps could have leapt over the border and into Roath, and probably still can. We will therefore include him on our Roath People page.





Cyncoed Campus, Cyncoed Rd, Cardiff CF23 6XD, UK

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A, lynn davies long jump. My Olympic gold
I never expected to win. As I left the warm-up track, my coach Ron Pickering said: “You could get the bronze today, Lynn.”

B. My 1966 European Championships gold
My ambition after Tokyo in 1964 was to get the clean evolution classic kayak and win European and Commonwealth golds. This one from Budapest completed the set.

C. My 1966 Commonwealth Games gold
Two weeks earlier I won the gold in Kingston, Jamaica. I don’t usually show off my medals. They are stuck in what my wife calls my Room 101.

D, lynn davies long jump. The Olympic Torch lynn davies long jump 2012
I carried it on the relay in Cardiff. A big man ran at me and the bodyguards wrestled him to the ground. I used the torch at

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Remarkably, lynn davies long jump, after more than 40 years, Lynn Davies’ long jump best of 8.23m, set in Berne in June 1968, is still the fourth best long jump of all-time by a British athlete – despite the improved facilities of today, where all-weather run-ups have replaced the soggy loose cinders that Lynn mostly competed on. The nearest any Welsh athlete has got to Lynn’s extraordinary feat is the 7.75m leap by Ken Cocks in 1978. Almost unbelievably, Lynn’s performances four decades ago will still place him amongst the world’s elite today. Put in a nutshell, he was a brilliant and extraordinary athlete, lynn davies long jump. He was like Barry John, JPR, JJ, Gareth and John Charles all rolled into one.

It’s a well known fact that he became Wales’ first and still only individual Olympic Athletics Champion when he won in Tokyo in 1964, but also consider these statistics:

  • He jumped over 8 metres 21 times. In 2009 only two British athletes exceeded 8 metres.
  • He became the first athlete to hold Olympic, European and Commonwealth titles at the same time.
  • His 43 senior international appearances for Britain included a remarkable tally of 28 victories in 100m, long jump and relays.
  • He set 17 British and Commonwealth records.

But where did it all start for the former UWIC lecturer, who has lived in Cardiff since being a student at Cardiff Training College (now UWIC), apart from a three year stint as Technical Director of the Track & Field Association of Canada in the mid 1970’s?

Well the Nantymoel born superstar was an outstanding sportsman at Ogmore Grammar School and naturally enough played on the wing for his school team and also lynn davies long jump a soccer trial for Cardiff City. But all that was to change when the then National Coach for Wales, the late Ron Pickering attending his very first athletics meeting in Wales since his appointment noticed Lynn’s “fantastic” potential. Said Ron, who died in 1991: “I asked him if he wanted to be greatest athlete Wales had ever produced and whether he was prepared to work harder than any other athlete had ever worked.” Ron continued: “Although quiet and shy, he was quite firm in saying that he wanted exactly that.”

Lynn remembers that occasion in 1961 well: “I had played in a seven a side rugby tournament the previous week and thought that that would stand me in good stead for the Welsh championships – such was my naivety.” He continued: “I won the triple jump in a new Welsh record and came second in the long jump to the late Bryan Woolley, the reigning champion. By absolute coincidence Ron was there and that was how it all started”

Still only 20 years old, his first major championships were the Commonwealth Games in Perth the following year, where he just missed the bronze medal by a tantalising one centimetre, lynn davies long jump, setting a new Commonwealth and British record of 7.72m to beat Peter O’Connor’s British best set 61 years previously, lynn davies long jump. Remarkably all three medallists’ performances were wind assisted, but Lynn’s jump was wind free, so a puff of wind could have given him a medal. Just imagine, a year earlier, he was second in the Welsh Championships long jump at Maindy, and in Perth, he is setting a new Commonwealth and British record just missing-out on a Commonwealth medal!

Not many people predicted a medal in Tokyo, let alone a gold. He went into the competition the 5th best in the world with 8.04m, with Ralph Boston of the USA leading the list with his world record 8.34. As we now know Lynn won in boomerang bookings rain-swept stadium jumping 8:07, with the reigning champion Boston second 4 cms behind and Russia’s Igor Ter-Ovanesyan third another 4 cms back.

The whole of Wales went mad. On his arrival back in Cardiff, it seemed as though everyone had turned up at Cardiff station to meet him. All of the buses and trains out of Cardiff stopped, and traffic around the Central Station came to a halt.

However, Boston had his revenge in Lynn’s back yard the following year. Maindy Stadium on North Road, Cardiff was then the Mecca for Welsh athletics. The Welsh Games, started in 1959 to keep alive the spirit of the 1958 Cardiff Empire Games had been held there each year, and was one of the major events in the British calendar. Cardiff City Council and the Welsh Games Council decided to bring the still world record holder Boston over from the United States to jump against Lynn to give his Welsh fans a first-hand view of their Welsh photo planche de surf great expense Cardiff City Council dug a special long jump pit in front of the main grandstand to give the event maximum exposure. For a whole hour there were no other events on the programme so that the crowd had no distractions, and Ron Pickering gave a commentary on the event over the public address system. Boston champion sheep rally online with a leap of 8.18m which still stands as a Welsh all-comers’ record to this day. Lynn says of that day in his Autobiography Lynn Davies: Winner Stakes All: “He slaughtered me in front of 10,000 Welshmen&hellip.It was yoga for tennis players dvd quiet when I jumped&hellip.I could hear my own footsteps on the cinders……Everybody was shouting for me as I jumped&hellip.But I was absolutely humiliated”

Bob Beamon put paid to Lynn defending his Olympic title in 1968 with a jump that startled the world. The American soared to 8.90m in the rarefied atmosphere of Mexico City for a world record that was to stand for almost a quarter of a century until beaten in 1991 by another American, Mike Powell with 8.95, which still stands as the world record today. Beamon’s jump not only bettered 28 feet for the first time, it also breached the 29 foot barrier in one go. At the time Lynn said that the mark will stand for “a thousand years”, such was his admiration for the leap.

Lynn’s European title came in Budapest in 1966 when he beat his friend and great rival Igor Ter-Ovanesyan by 10 cms with his last jump. He took the first of his two Commonwealth titles in Jamaica in 1966 and defended the title in Edinburgh in 1970.

As well as his long jumping lynn davies long jump he was an outstanding sprinter being a regular in Britain’s sprint relay team. As he said following the untimely death of Berwyn Jones: “I looked-up to Berwyn, and when he went North to play Rugby League, just before the 1964 Olympics, I took lynn davies long jump place in the British relay sprint squad”

His last major championships were the Munich Olympics – his third appearance in the Games – in 1972 where he was Britain’s team captain, narrowly failing to reach the final round.

His last competition before retirement came in the colours of Cardiff AAC, fittingly enough at their “home” British League fixture in Cwmbran in 1973. By then, the once proud Maindy Stadium had fallen below international standards, and Cardiff had to use Cwmbran for their British League matches. He ran the last leg of the sprint relay to seal Cardiff’s win and lay the foundation for Cardiff’s eventual retention of the British League title that year.

After retirement, lynn davies long jump, he was the laundry alternative nina soft spin dryer Canada’s Technical Director for athletics in July 1973 and was responsible for their teams at the lynn davies long jump Commonwealth Games in Christchurch New Zealand, the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico City and the 1976 Montreal Olympics. At the time he said that he didn’t know what to expect from the Welsh team and their supporters in New Zealand. He said: “At least I wore a red blazer, but with a maple leaf and not the three feathers!”

But along with his wife Meriel, he was feeling homesick and he returned home soon after to a new appointment as technical officer for the Sports Council for Wales. He was soon into his stride so to speak back on home soil, and was later appointed British athletics team manager to follow in the footsteps of Cardiff colleague Ted Hopkins who held the position at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

He received a well deserved CBE for his services to athletics in 2006 to add to his MBE. To this day he is still in the forefront of British athletics as the well-respected President of UK Athletics.

Serious sport always has a funny side, as Mike Walters recalls in The History of Welsh Athletics: In an interview Lynn recalled an embarrassing incident at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards which he had to miss because of illness. He chuckles recalling the incident as the person announcing the the citadel baseball roster said: “…and the runner-up is that great Welsh long jumper Lynn Davies. Unfortunately she can’t be with us tonight because she has got the ‘flu&rdquo.

In an international career spanning 11 years, he competed in 13 major games, winning seven long jump medals, setting 17 British and Commonwealth records, 25 Welsh records, winning 6 AAA (British) and 8 Welsh titles. The only Welsh athlete to come anywhere close to this remarkable record is former 110m hurdles world record holder Colin Jackson who still holds the world record for 60m hurdles indoors, but never won an Olympic title. Lynn’s UK record stood for a phenomenal 33 years until beaten by Chris Tomlinson with 8.27m. Superstars like Lynn Davies are a very rare breed.

He was one of the first five athletes inducted into the Welsh Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007 and is a vice-patron of Welsh Athletics, lynn davies long jump, the governing body of the sport in Wales.

Lynn Davies Toyko gold medal - 50 years on, lynn davies long jump. Read the article here. 

By Clive Williams

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