(Last Updated on : 24-07-2014)
Henry Rebello is a world renowned Indian Triple jumper. He contended in independent India's first Olympics participation which was held in London in 1948. Rebello was a genuine medal prospect, but his first leap in the final was damaged due to an injury. In the year 1980, he retired as a Group Captain from the Indian Air Force
Early Life Of Henry Rebello
Henry Rebello was born on November 17, 1928. As a child, Henry was not particularly keen on sports. Through out school, he was a rather brilliant student. After his family moved from Lucknow
to Bengaluru, he had to shift schools. It was then, that Rebello was admitted at the Baldwin Boys' High School. It was compulsory in the school that all students had to actively take part in sports and games. At the age of 16 years, Henry Rebello took up athletics and used to participate in inter-school meets. He was then popular as Hop, Step and Jump. His introduction to his pet event occurred with the American Flicker Books, where top athletes of the time in action had taken part.
Career of Henry Rebello
The career of Henry Rebello was very brief but magnificent one. At the age of 18, Henry won his first gold medal after taking up athletics at the 1946 All-India Olympic meet in Bengaluru
. He took the initial step towards the Olympics by winning the National triple jump title in February 1948. Rebello shocked everyone with a glimpse of the national record of 50 feet 2 inches (15.29 m) at the All-India meet in Lucknow. Henry Rebello was positive that he had the ability to cross 51 feet, provided the fact that it had not been raining, which made the ground moist.
This record gave him further chance to enhance his credibility, which in due course, paved the way to the London Olympics. This record of Henry Rebello also happened to be the best mark of the year, worldwide. He was the only other jumper to come close in accomplishing this distance, other than Adhemar Ferreira Da Silva, a Brazilian athlete.
Many experts, including the legendary Harold Abrahams pointed him out as one of the favourites for the gold. Thus, the record of Henry Rebello made him the centre of attraction in London. At the meet, held a fortnight before the Games, organised at Motspur Park for overseas athletes, his confidence level was rationalized. Just four-and-a-half inches less than the world record held by Naoto Tajima of Japan, he showed an amazing 52 feet, one-and-a-half inches. His next best jump was enough to beat George Avery of Australia, which is of 50 feet. It was more than two feet of George. His coach was Jim Metcalfe, who also counted him among the favourites.
Later, Henry Rebello gave up competitive athletics. As Group Captain in the year 1980, he retired from the Air Force and was the first Director of the Sports Authority of India from 1984-88.