Dwight Phillips

Dwight Phillips
is an American former athlete and five-time World Champion in long jump; four times outdoor and once indoor. He was the 2004 Olympic Champion in the event. His personal best of 8.74 metres, set in 2009, makes him the joint fifth best jumper of all time.

Dwight was a promising sprinter in his early days but concentrated on triple jump while at the University of Kentucky before switching to long jump after moving to Arizona State University in 2000. He competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and finished eighth in the long jump. He was the best American performer in the event. At his first World Championships he again finished eighth, after sustaining a hamstring tear.

He came to prominence in 2003 when he won both the IAAF indoor and outdoor World Championships. In the run up to the 2004 Athens Olympics, Phillips was ranked number 1 in the world and he became Olympic Champion. His winning jump of 8.59 metres was the fourth biggest in Olympic history, after Bob Beamon (1968) and Carl Lewis (1988, 1992).

Dwight’s success continued at the next two World Championships, taking the Gold medal at the 2005 Helsinki event and winning bronze in Osaka 2 years later. However, Dwight finished fourth in the long jump at the US Olympic Trials, meaning he would not compete at the Beijing Olympics nor defend his Olympic title.

He managed to recover and became World Champion again at the 2009 World Athletics Championships in Berlin. He repeated the feat in Daegu, South Korea, in 2011 with a leap of 8.45 metres. During these Championships in Daegu, Dwight was assigned bib number 1111. After winning, he proudly pointed to the appropriate number for finishing first in four championships.

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