Full Name: David Henry Jones
Date of Birth: 11 March 1940.
Club: Woodford Green.
Coach: Ron Bowden.
Green For Go
During the 1960s, David Jones was a household name in British athletics, a member of the Essex club Woodford Green and a sprinter who was a part of a world-record relay quartet, a Commonwealth Games relay gold medallist and in a controversial Olympic relay where the team finished fourth, were promoted to third and then probably should not have had a medal at all.
Jones was fourth in the English Schools 220y while at Felsted before making great progress as a 19-year-old when he took a job in London. Jones combined his power and control and a sprinter with that of being a fine Essex County hockey player. He won the AAA junior 100y title in 1958 and made his international debut at the age of 19 the following year and though he qualified for the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960, he was left disappointed when he missed out narrowly on a place in the 100m final. He made the podium in the relay - but only just.
Out Of The Zone
Jones ran the second leg in the 4 x 100m relay, in a team where Peter Radford took the baton first with David Jones at No 3 and Nick Whitehead in the anchor role. It was some race. The USA had been Olympic champions at this event since 1920 but that run was ended amid controversy, which led to Britain taking third place. The USA had actually broken the world record in the race, but their first two athletes, Frank Budd and Ray Norton, had had a mix up with the latter being way out of the zone. The USA carried on to ‘win’ the race from Germany and the Soviet Union with Britain in fourth place. But after the USA were disqualified, Britain were elevated to third, yet they were fortunate to remain in the bronze medal position because film of the first changeover indicated that the exchange between Radford and Jones had been outside the zone aswell.
World Record Time
Jones was at the forefront of British sprinting for a decade, running on the British teams which set eight national records at 4x100m between 1960 and 1963. Two of those records came at the European Championships in Belgrade in 1962, with a time of 39.8 for bronze behind West Germany and Poland who were both clocked at 39.5. But it was in that year when Jones achieved his best individual finish at a major event with silver in the 220y at the Commonwealth Games in Perth. As Seraphino Antao, of Kenya, a country renowned for distance running, won in 21.28, Jones was second in 21.59 but he climbed to the top of the podium by being part of the triumphant English team which won the 4 x 110y relay. He best performance was his 10.3 at Hanover in 1961, just behind Jocelyn Delecour of France, also 10.3, to tie the British record for 100m. Also, he equalled that mark again in an invitation race in Budapest in October 1963, by which time he was in the record books. The first two from Rome were there again, Radford and Jones, and they were joined by Ron Jones and Berwyn Jones to break the world’s best time for the 4 x 110 relay with 40.0 against the USA at the White City Stadium on August 3, 1963.
1960: sf 100m, qf 200m, 3rd 4x100m Olympics
1962: qf 100y, 2nd 220y, 1st 4x110y Commonwealth Games; 5th 200m, 3rd 4x100m Europeans
1965: dq 100m & 4x100m European Cup
1966: qf 220y, 7th 4x110y Commonwealth Games
UK Internationals: 22 (1959-65)
Won AAA 220y 1959-61, 1963; 60y indoors 1962; Junior 100y 1958.
100y 9.5 (1962), 9.70 (1960); 100m 10.3 (1961), 10.48 (1960); 200m 20.9, 21.10 (1961), 220y 20.82w (1961), 220yh 25.2 (1962), 440yh 57.8 (1960)
Indoors: 50m 5.8 (1961)