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James Beckford (born 9 January 1975 in Saint Mary, Jamaica) is a Jamaican track and field athlete competing in the long jump. He represented Jamaica at the Olympic level in 1996, 2000 and 2004. He was the silver medallist in the long jump at the 1996 Olympics and also has two silvers from the World Championships in Athletics (from 1995 and 2003). He was chosen as the Jamaica Sportsman of the Year for 1995, 1996 and 2003. He is the current holder of the Jamaican record for both the long jump and triple jump with marks of 8.62 m and 17.92 m, respectively.

James Beckford
James Beckford 2012.JPG
James Beckford (2012)
Medal record
Men’s athletics
Representing  Jamaica
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1996 Atlanta Long jump
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 1995 Gothenburg Long jump
Silver medal – second place 2003 Paris Long jump
World Indoor Championships
Silver medal – second place 2004 Budapest Long jump

Beckford was educated in the United States and began his athletics career there, specialising in the horizontal jumps. He took the triple jump title at Florida's Class AAAA championship, representing William R. Boone High School. He moved to Texas to study at Blinn College. While there he improved Delroy Poyser's Jamaican record with a jump of 17.29 metres (56 ft 8¾ in) – a mark which was also the world-leading outdoor jump at that point in April 1994.[1]

His personal best of 8.62 m (28 ft 3 14 in) is currently ranked 15th on the all-time list. Since he made that jump, April 5, 1997 in Orlando, Florida, only 6 men have jumped farther.

He was banned from competition for three months in 1997 after he tested positive for ephedrine, a banned stimulant.[2]

He has competed at the World Championships on five occasions and the IAAF World Indoor Championships on six occasions. Aside from his global performances, he has won medals at the Summer Universiade, the Goodwill Games, the IAAF Grand Prix Final, as well as a silver medal from the 1998 CAC Games.

He remains active, winning the 2018 World Masters Championships.


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
1995 World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 2nd Long jump
6th Triple jump
Grand Prix Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 3rd Long jump
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, Georgia, United States 2nd Long jump
1997 World Indoor Championships Paris, France 5th Long jump
World Championships Athens, Greece 4th Long jump
Universiade Catania, Italy 2nd Long jump
Grand Prix Final Fukuoka, Japan 2nd Long jump
1998 Goodwill Games New York City, United States 3rd Long jump
CAC Games Maracaibo, Venezuela 2nd Long jump
1999 World Indoor Championships Maebashi, Japan 5th Long jump
2000 Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 9th (qualifiers) Long jump
2001 World Championships Edmonton, Canada 7th Long jump
Goodwill Games Brisbane, Australia 1st Long jump
Grand Prix Final Melbourne, Australia 4th Long jump
2003 World Indoor Championships Birmingham, England 6th (qualifiers) Long jump
World Championships Paris, France 2nd Long jump
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 7th Long jump
2004 World Indoor Championships Budapest, Hungary 2nd Long jump
Olympic Games Athens, Greece 4th Long jump
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 5th Long jump
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 9th Long jump
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 3rd Long jump
2006 World Indoor Championships Moscow, Russia 6th (qualifiers) Long jump
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 7th Long jump
2007 World Championships Osaka, Japan 6th Long jump
2008 World Indoor Championships Valencia, Spain 6th Long jump

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Buchalter, Bill (5 April 1994). Beckford Jumps To World Lead. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved on 2010-09-02.
  2. ^ Longman, Jere (1 August 1997). "I.A.A.F. Reduces Doping Bans". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
  Iván Pedroso
Men's Long Jump Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
  Iván Pedroso
Preceded by
  Iván Pedroso
Men's Long Jump Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
  Savanté Stringfellow