60th anniversary of world high jump record marked in Cherryvale

Fiona Leneghan from Aquinas school high-jumps at Cherryvale Playing Fields

Fiona Leneghan from Aquinas school high-jumps at Cherryvale Playing Fields

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The 60th anniversary of Thelma Hopkins’ world high jump record in Cherryvale Park, Belfast has been marked by high jumping and other athletic events in the venue.

Thelma became the first person to break a world athletic record in Ireland when she high jumped 5 feet 8 and a half inches on 5 May 1956. Setting the record in Cherryvale Park, in the same year, she claimed silver in the Summer Olympics in Melbourne.

Pupils from neighbouring Aquinas school took part in a range of athletics including high jump, long jump, javelin, hurdles and sprints in Cherryvale Playing Fields to mark the milestone.

A plaque was unveiled in Cherryvale 10 years ago to mark the 50th anniversary of Thelma’s feat and she was also inducted into the Belfast Sporting Hall of Fame in 2012.