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Benjamin Challenger, GBR

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Credits: UK Athletics, Athletics Weekly, BBC Athletics,


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Full Name: Benjamin Challenger
Born: 7 March 1978, (Loughborough)
Height: 1.86m
Event: High Jump
Club: Belgrave Harriers
Coach: Taka Yoshida
Family: Father Romeo was the drummer of the popular pop group Showaddywaddy.
Hobbies: Has also played basketball for the Birmingham Bullets and Leicester Riders, while other hobbies include modelling and motorbikes.

Personal Bests:

High Jump (Outdoors) 2.30 13 Jul 1999 Palma de Mallorca, ESP
High Jump (Indoors) 2.27 7 Feb 1998 Birmingham, GBR


Challenger, and English Schools’ champion as an inter and senior boy, made a big breakthrough in 1996 when he cleared a PB of 2.21 to take silver at the World Junior Championships, adding European Junior silver a year later.

9 July 1994 English Schools Championships Telford 2.06 Intermediate Boys 1st
24 August 1996 World Junior Championships Sydney, Australia 2.21 U20 =2nd
1 March 1997 GB v Germany v France U20 Chemnitz, Germany 2.23 U20 1st


By 1998 he was the Commonwealth silver medallist as he again produced a PB when it mattered, clearing 2.28m, and he had that golden feeling in 1999 when improving his best to 2.30m as he won both the World Student Games and European Under-23 Championships.


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Sheffield Indoors, February

He secured his first senior AAA outdoor title in 2000 but his return to Sydney, scene of his 1996 World Junior medal, proved a disappointment as he failed to produce the goods at the Olympics as illness affected his build-up to the biggest competition of his life.


Was again on the podium at the Commonwealth Games in 2002, where he took bronze, clearing 2.25, the clearance height of all three medal winners. 

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Commonwealth Games, Manchester 2002


In 2003 – having switched coach to former 2.31 Japanese jumper Taka Yoshida – he earned his third AAA outdoor title to go with a trio of indoor golds.


8 February   Banska Bystrica, SVK 2.25 6th  
12 February   Sheffield 2.16 4th  
22 February   Brno, CZE 2.27 3rd  
5 March   Madrid, ESP 2.27 11th  
5 June GBR v USA v RUS  Glasgow 2.15 5th  
9 June Super Grand Prix Ostrava, CZE 2.10 11th  
17 June European Cup Florence, Italy 2.20 7th Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


European Cup

In the high jump, Ben Challenger was pleased with his 2.20m performance which despite finishing seventh, represented a good competition for the 27 year old.

With a season’s best of 2.15 outdoors, he threw caution to the wind when he opted to open his competition at that very height, risking nil points for Great Britain had his gamble not paid off. Luckily, he was confident in his ability having enjoyed a good build up in the approach to the competition:

“I really felt confident throughout my warm up. Then a few of the guys I know in the field said I was looking sharp with practice jumps, and I thought that it was worth starting at 2.15,” he said.

“I feel like everything is starting to come together again – I only wish I could have got more points overall, but I’ll enjoy cheering the others on this weekend.”

Both his 2.15 and 2.20 marks were cleared first time which will surely give him a boost for a training venture to Prague where he will be doing additional technical work to build on this weekend’s performance. 


2 July   Cork, IRE 2.18 1st
10 July AAA Championships Manchester 2.27 1st
30 July BAL London 2.20 1st
12 August World Championships Helskini, Finland 2.24 14th Q
28 August   Banska Bystrica, SVK 2.23 2nd



16 January   Trinec, CZE 2.15 12th
19 January   Ostrava, CZE 2.15 13th
21 January   Hustopece, CZE 2.10 17th
20 March Commonwealth Games Melbourne, AUS 2.10 5th
22 March Commonwealth Games Melbourne, AUS 2.15 8th

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16 January   Hustopece, CZE 2.15 13th
5 May British Athletics League Premiership London 2.10 3rd