Germany’s Thomas Zacharias zaps M65 WR in indoor high jump

Thomas is tops.

Thomas is tops.

Thomas Zacharias is back — despite lumbago in his back. A 1968 Olympian with an all-time high jump best of 2.22 (7-3 1/4) indoors, Thomas straddled another world indoor record this month. Now 66, he cleared 1.65 (5-5) to beat the listed M65 indoor WR of 1.62 (5-3 3/4) first set in 1993 by American Jim Gilcrist and tied in 2001 by Austrian Horst Mandl.. According to a German report, Thomas nearly made 1.67 (5-5 3/4) as well. That would have beat Phil Fehlen’s listed outdoor WR of 1.66 (5-5 1/4). The record jump came at the Spanish masters nationals March 3 in Zaragoza. See results here. A rough Google translation of the German report says Thomas had the flu and lumbago last year, but was recovered this season for the record tries. He’s now shooting for a higher jump at Budapest worlds, he says. Thomas was the first and only M50 to jump 2.00 (6-6 3/4). Indoors, of course.

Here are versions of the report:

Thomas Zacharias startet mit Senioren-Rekord

Eigentlich hatte Thomas Zacharias (USC Mainz) bereits im Januar, wie schon vor Jahren, auf Lanzarote mit einem Hochsprungrekord im Freien in die Saison starten wollen, doch dieses Vorhaben zerschlug sich, weil das dortige Stadion wegen Umbau lange nicht benutzbar war. Und auch mit der Teilnahme an den Deutschen Senioren-Hallenmeisterschaften in Erfurt hatte es Anfang März für Thomas Zacharias nicht gereicht: Grippe und Hexenschuss zwangen ihn, zu Hause zu bleiben. Das Projekt Hallen-Weltrekord gelang dennoch.

Um überhaupt einmal noch vor den Senioren-Hallenweltmeisterschaften in Budapest (Ungarn) Wettkampfluft zu schnuppern, nahm er die Gelegenheit wahr, am 8. März als Gast bei den spanischen Senioren-Hallenmeisterschaften in Zaragoza zu starten.

Das Ziel von Thomas Zacharias war klar: Hallenweltrekord. „Sonst wäre ich aus Valencia nicht 330 Kilometer nach Zaragoza gefahren!“

Jim Gilcrist (USA) war im Jahr 1993 1,62 Meter hoch gesprungen und hielt gemeinsam mit dem Österreicher Horst Mandl, der im Jahr 2001 die selbe Höhe erreicht hatte, den Senioren-Hallenweltrekord der Klasse M 65.

Zwei Weltrekordsteigerungen

Nach geglückten Versuchen über 1,56 Meter, 1,59 Meter und 1,61 Meter, diese Höhen nahm er im ersten Anlauf, schaffte Thomas Zacharias dann in Zaragoza im zweiten Versuch mit 1,63 Metern die anvisierte Weltrekordhöhe.

Aber damit noch nicht genug: Erneut wurde um zwei Zentimeter gesteigert und im zweiten Durchgang übersprang der Straddler dann auch noch die 1,65 Meter. Erst nach einem hauchdünn gescheiterten dritten Versuch über 1,67 Meter war dann Schluss für den neuen Weltrekordler.

Nun blickt Thomas Zacharias schon in Richtung Budapest: „Bei den Senioren-Hallenweltmeisterschaften in Ungarn habe ich am 27. März ja eine neue Chance, den Rekord weiter in die Höhe zu schrauben.“

And the English translation via Google:

Thomas Zacharias starts with senior record

Actually had Thomas Zacharias (USC Mainz) in January , how many years ago , want to start with a high jump record outdoors in the season in Lanzarote , but this plan fell through because the local stadium has long been unusable due to renovation . And also with the participation of the German Senior Indoor Championships in Erfurt had in early March for Thomas Zacharias not enough : Flu and lumbago forced him to stay home. The project indoor world record succeeded yet .

To even once before the Senior World Indoor Championships in Budapest ( Hungary) to sniff competition air, he took the opportunity , on 8 March to launch as a guest of the Spanish Senior Indoor Championships in Zaragoza.

The goal of Thomas Zacharias was clear: indoor world record . “Otherwise I would not have gone from Valencia to Zaragoza 330 km ! ”

Jim Gilcrist (USA) jumped 1.62 meters in 1993 , and held together with the Austrians Horst Mandl, who had reached the same level in 2001 , the Senior World Indoor record M Class 65

Two world record increases

After successful trials over 1.56 meters , 1.59 meters and 1.61 meters , these heights , he took the first run , managed Thomas Zacharias then in Zaragoza at the second attempt with 1.63 meters the envisioned world record height.

But that’s not all : Once again, increased by two inches , and in the second round of the straddlers skipped then also the 1.65 meters . Only after a razor-thin failed third attempt over 1.67 meters was then concluded for the new world record holder .

Now Thomas Zacharias looks pretty close to Budapest: ” In the senior World Indoor Championships in Hungary , I have 27 March so a new opportunity , the record continues to screw up. ”

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March 23, 2014

15 Responses

  1. Weia Reinboud - March 23, 2014

    Movie, the record around minute 7:

  2. Christel Donley - March 23, 2014

    I am laughing out loud about the google translation!

    Thomas was trying to say: I hope, I can move the record up, meaning, I hope to “up” the record, definitely NOT: to” screw up”.
    Also, the progression was 2 centimeters, NOt 2 inches.

    Thomas, hoffentlich klappt’s!

  3. Matt McCubbins - March 24, 2014

    Thomas must be a wonderfully complex fellow. I recall reading his emotional retirement statement from a few years ago in which he basically said he had lost the motivation to train and saw himself as a shooting star that could only burn brightly for a short time.

    I’m really glad he’s back in action and hopefully feeling reinvigorated. What a talent!

  4. Ed Baskauskas - March 24, 2014

    Thanks, Christel. Google should know the difference between “ratchet up” and “screw up”!

  5. Thomas Zacharias - April 11, 2014

    I stumbled to this site first today. Thanks for taking note of my efforts and even support me. Like to tell you that my lumbago and pains in the knee get better since I train high jump instead of golf strokes. And I decided to never stop again training hj because it’s so hard to come back, once you quit for some years. Since 2nd of January I’m 67 and the oudoor WR (1m66)is almost too high for me. Anyway I’ll try my best this season. So I hope for a few head lines more. Experts will appreciate my vids about straddle and flop in youtube…

  6. Matt McCubbins - April 24, 2014

    hello Thomas! I just left a comment on your YouTube straddle instruction video – it was fantastic! I am a M40 (43) flopper but have always been fascinated with straddle and your video really helps to “de-mystify” the technique. Some day I hope to feel confident enough to dare trying straddle in a competition, ha. Your instructional video gives me hope! Cheers and go get that World Outdoor record!!

  7. Thomas Zacharias - April 24, 2014

    Hi, Matt! It’s so hard I tell you. I fall in the trap of speed once and again. And than technique suffers. It looks like arrogance, but I really get higher with 3 than 6 steps of appraoche. But it’s also amusing to train with video and see all the good and bad things my body does. For more records I need lot of luck, means confidence in the possibility. So go for it you too…

  8. Matt McCubbins - April 24, 2014

    Well, if 3 or 4 steps works better for you than 6, so be it! American Willie Banks has wonderful results with his 3-step straddle. In your instruction video, 4 steps seemed to be quite comfortable for you. I have similarly discovered that I can flop just as well right now with 6 steps as with 10.

  9. Thomas Zacharias - April 24, 2014

    There is some vid of Willie? I admired him as tripple jumper. I support since ever the idea of runnig slowly and take off steeper. Dwight Stones 55°, Jim Barrineau 58, Bondarenko 60°, Brumel 63°, me 66°,…

  10. Matt McCubbins - April 24, 2014

    There used to be a video filmed by Ken Stone showing a series of Willie’s jumps including his M55 American record jump of 1.83, but it appears to have been removed. I can check with Ken to see if he still has it somewhere. Meanwhile, all I can find is the following clip of willie missing an attempt at 1.80 or 81:

  11. Thomas Zacharias - April 24, 2014

    Funny guy at the high jump bar. This is really steep!
    See him here:

  12. Milan Jamrich - April 24, 2014

    Hi Thomas, congratulation!
    Milan Jamrich

  13. Thomas Zacharias - April 25, 2014

    Hi Milan!I Remember you well. Last time I saw you in Riccione 07. Time to meet again soon! The 70s are so long ago…

  14. Milan Jamrich - April 25, 2014

    Thomas, I will be in Lyon next year (World masters Championship). We will be in the same age group. Yes, time flew by fast…

  15. Thomas Zacharias - April 25, 2014

    Than, Milan, I’m 68 and will only run short hurdles…

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