Thomas Zacharias (athlete)

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Thomas Zacharias


Thomas Zacharias in 1970
Personal information
Born2 January 1947 (1947-01-02) (age 71)
Bad Harzburg, Germany
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 76 kg (168 lb)
Sport High jump
Club Universitätssportclub Mainz

Thomas Michael Zacharias (born 2 January 1947) is a German high jumper. He competed in the 1968 Olympics and finished in 14th place with a jump of 2.09 m. He set five national records (2.17 to 2.20 in 1970). His personal best is 2.22 m (world's best indoor 1971). [1]


Zacharias continues competing internationally, in the masters categories, where he set dozens of world records. Two of them, 2.00 m indoor and 1.98 m outdoor in the M50 age group, have stood since 1997. [2] Zacharias is a lifelong proponent of the straddle technique in the high jump. [3] [4]

Straddle technique

The straddle technique was the dominant style in the high jump before the development of the Fosbury Flop. It is a successor of the Western roll, with which it is sometimes confused.

Records by Thomas Zacharias
SetBrokenAge category
2.17 [5] 30–34NR
2.10 [5] 35–39NR
2.0010 September 1988 [2] 40–44NR
1.967 October 1996 [2] 45–49NR
2.002 March 1997 [2] Current50–54 WR(i)
1.8425 January 2006 [2] [4] 5 April 200855–59 WR
1.8027 April 2007 [2] 16 August 201260–64 WR
1.6512 March 2014 [3] [6] Current65–69WR(i)

(i) = indoors, WR = world record, ER = European record, NR = national record


Zacharias was born to Hella and Helmut Zacharias. His father (died 2002) was a famous violin player, composer and orchestra director, his sister Sylvia holds a PhD in social sciences, and his brother Stephan is a composer and music producer for film and television. Zacharias has a son, Alejandro, and daughter Cristina, with Lola López, a sports teacher. [5]

Helmut Zacharias German violinist

Helmut Zacharias was a German violinist and composer who created over 400 works and sold 14 million records. He also appeared in a number of films, usually playing musicians.

Zacharias completed his school studies in Hamburg (Germany), Genoa (Italy) and Ascona (Switzerland). He continued his education in Paris, Berlin and Mainz, studying philosophy and psychology, but majoring in physical education, and since the 1980s has lived on Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands. In the 2000s, besides competing in the high jump and being a track and field coach, he became a specialist in golf biomechanics and tuition and published two books on the subject. In 1999–2002 he worked as a psychologist with the national golf amateur team and in 2002-2008 was instruction advisor to the PGA of Germany. [5]

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