Jacques FREITAG

Athlete Profile

  • COUNTRY
    South Africa South Africa
  • DATE OF BIRTH
    11 JUN 1982
    ATHLETE'S IAAF CODE
    171424
Jacques Freitag wins the men's High jump world title (Getty Images)

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
High Jump 2.38 Oudtshoorn (RSA) 05 MAR 2005 AR

Legend

* Not legal.

Indoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
High Jump 2.28 Bydgoszcz (POL) 26 JAN 2005

Legend

* Not legal.

Latest Active Season: 2013

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
High Jump 2.10 Stellenbosch (RSA) 13 APR 2013

Outdoor

High Jump

Performance Place Date
2013 2.10 Stellenbosch (RSA) 13 APR 2013
2010 2.05 Potchefstroom (RSA) 04 MAR 2010
2007 2.15 Bydgoszcz (POL) 10 JUN 2007
2006 2.24 Pretoria (RSA) 27 JAN 2006
2005 2.38 Oudtshoorn (RSA) 05 MAR 2005
2004 2.34 Salamanca (ESP) 13 JUL 2004
2003 2.35 Paris (FRA) 25 AUG 2003
2002 2.37 Durban (RSA) 23 MAR 2002
2001 2.31 Rehlingen (GER) 04 JUN 2001
2000 2.30 Pretoria (RSA) 25 AUG 2000
1999 2.25 Pretoria (RSA) 01 JUL 1999

Indoor

High Jump

Performance Place Date
2009/10 2.20 Gent (BEL) 14 FEB 2010
2004/05 2.28 Bydgoszcz (POL) 26 JAN 2005
2003/04 2.25 Göteborg (SWE) 03 FEB 2004
2000/01 2.25 Tampere (FIN) 12 FEB 2001

Honours - World Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. High Jump 2.35 Paris (FRA) 25 AUG 2003

Honours - World U20 Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. High Jump 2.24 Santiago de Chile (CHI) 19 OCT 2000

Honours - World U18 Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. High Jump 2.16 Bydgoszcz (POL) 18 JUL 1999

Honours - All-African Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
4. High Jump 2.20 Johannesburg (RSA) 18 SEP 1999

Honours - World Athletics Final

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
4. High Jump 2.27 Monaco (MON) 14 SEP 2003
6. High Jump 2.29 Monaco (MON) 10 SEP 2005

Honours - Golden League

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. High Jump 2.35 Roma (ITA) 11 JUL 2003

Honours - National Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. High Jump 2.35 Durban (RSA) 16 APR 2005
1. High Jump 2.37 Durban (RSA) 23 MAR 2002
1. High Jump 2.20 Durban (RSA) 04 MAR 2001
1. High Jump 2.29 Cape Town (RSA) 04 MAR 2000
Results in:

High Jump

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
16 MAR 2013 Pretoria Regional Ch. RSARSA F F 1. 2.08
13 APR 2013 Stellenbosch South African Ch. RSARSA B F 2. 2.10
25 MAY 2013 Potchefstroom South African Open Ch. RSARSA F F 2. 2.00


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Jacques Freitag (Frytahg), South Africa (high jump)

Born 11 June 1982, Warrenton, Northern Cape Province. Grew up in Bronkhorstspruit (50km east of Pretoria).

Single.  2.04m/95kg. Second of two children (older sister). Only tall person in family. Mother, Hendrina Pieters was 1973 South African high jump champion (PB 1.74m).

Manager:  Peet van Zyl. Coach:  Bob Cervanka.   Club: Rentmeester-Tuks AC, Pretoria.    

Freitag is the first athlete to win gold medals at the IAAF Senior (2003), Junior (2000) and Youth Championships (1999).    

Athletics career started at age 10 when he won 1993 South African Primary Schools high jump (1.53m). Mother was first coach. Came into national prominence at 16, winning HJ competition in Pretoria in October 1998 with 2.08m. Won national youth title six months later with 2.20, and in July improved to 2.25 only eight months after jumping 2.08. Entered inaugural World Youth Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, and won his first global title at 2.16. In October, still only 17, selected for SA senior team to the 7th All-Africa Games. Finished equal 4th with 2.20.

Jumped 2.30m shortly before Sydney Olympics but not named to SA team.  Compensated two months later at World Junior Championships in Santiago, in spite of arriving without spikes. “I qualified for the final wearing jogging shoes,” he recalls. “During the final, with the bar already at 2.17, my new spikes finally arrived, but they were too small!  I kept them on and ended the competition with large blisters—but also with the gold medal.”  Won on count-back after a first-clearance 2.24.

In June 2001 improved national senior and junior records to 2.31m, but at World Champs in Edmonton failed to qualify for final (2.15).  2002 started with seven meetings at 2.30 or better and three new South Africa records: 2.32m in Germiston,  2.33m in Durban and then 2.34 and 2.37 at national championships (both also African records). A few months later suffered serious ankle injury and underwent surgery in Finland. Missed 2002 Commonwealth Games and World Cup.
 
Recovered well in 2003 and won Rome GL and high jump festival in Eberstadt before comfortably taking his third global championship—the senior one—in Paris.

In February 2004 injured ankle again on European indoor circuit. Returned home after another operation in Finland, with a third scheduled for March.  Plans changed at suggestion of podiatrist Ron Holder and coach Bob Cervanka, an American in South Africa since 1989, better known as pole vault specialist. Treatment began in South Africa and drastic alterations were made in his run-up and step-off.

Returned to competition in Potchefstroom in late June, clearing 2.27. Set off for Europe for three low-key meetings as tests. The first in Heraklion July 4 proved discouraging (2.20 for 13th), but a 2.34 win nine days later in Salamanca (site of Xavier Sotomayor’s WR) restored confidence. This was reinforced by a 2.31 win a few days after that in Sweden, and not badly dented by another 2.20 for 2nd in a small Swiss meeting on August 8.

“I am still trying to master the new technique,” Freitag said a few weeks ago. “It is not easy. I am hopeful to do well knowing that hardly more than one athlete is really capable of 2.36 and more.”  

Injured his ankle again August 13 in Athens when trying out new spikes. After treatment by a specialist flown in from London, Freitag announced that he would compete on Friday despite torn ligaments.    
 
Career progression:   1998 - 2.08;  1999 - 2.25;   2000 - 2.30;  2001 - 2.31 (AfJR);  2002 - 2.37 (AR);  2003 - 2.35;   2004 - 2.34.

Prepared by Gert le Roux  for the IAAF "Focus on Africans" project. Copyright IAAF 2004.

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