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The Gisborne Photo News



Yvette Corlett

A special guest at the Gisborne Amateur Athletic Club's 75th Jubilee celebrations was the once holder of the world long jump record, Yvette Corlett. Yvette Williams (as she was then) achieved success rapidly after taking up athletics at the age of 17, competing in a wide range of events. Her first gold medal came in the long jump at the 1950 Empire Games with a silver in the javelin. It was a great day for NZ athletes when Yvette won Gold in the long jump at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics followed by 3 golds in the long jump, shot put and discus at the Empire Games in Vancouver, Canada. She was also placed 6th in the hurdles.

On February 20th 1954 at the Childers Road Reserve, Yvette broke the world record for the long jump with a distance of 6.28 metres (20' 7 l/2") on her first attempt. She was 24 and the run-up had been specially prepared with plenty of rolling to flatten the grassed area. Yvette retired after the '54 Games with no regrets. She married and with her husband followed the fortunes of their 4 children. Eldest son Neville was a rep basketballer while Peter broke the NZ junior record in the decathlon. He was also an All Black trialist. Youngest son Bruce concentrated on rugby and represented Auckland in the Trans-Tasman Cup while their daughter has represented NZ in rythmic gymnastics. A great sporting family with a special connection with Gisborne.


Danielle Colvin competing In the under 12 long Jump, must hope to one day emulate the feats of the famous athlete Yvette Corlett who watched the young Jumpers in action.


Yvette Corlett gives young fans advice on how to long Jump - plenty of speed, spring & don't look down at the pit.