Ex-High Jump World Champion Found Shot Dead After He Went Missing

The body of a former high jump world champion and Olympian was discovered after he went missing last month. This prompted the authorities to launch a murder inquiry.

The body of Jacques Freitag was found in a field near Zandfontein Cemetery in Pretoria, South Africa. Police reportedly informed local media that Freitag had been shot.

His family has officially identified his body.

Following his disappearance on June 17 at midnight, Jacques Freitag, 42, was allegedly discovered with gunshot wounds. He had departed from his mother’s residence with an unidentified male.

According to Brigadier Brenda Muridili, a spokesperson for the South African Police, the former field eventer had been repeatedly shot and is now being investigated as a possible murder.

Pretoria West local media stated on Wednesday that Freitag had been ‘troubled’ before his disappearance.

Drug addiction was a problem for Freitag once his athletic career ended, according to his sister Chrissie Lewis. Freitag is one of just ten athletes who have won world titles at the youth, junior, and senior levels.

A mysterious individual claimed to have a job for him and allegedly picked him up just after midnight, dropping him off at a location near Booysens.

His sister, Chrissie Lewis, has been spearheading the search for him, pointing out that he is easily identifiable by his 6’ 8” stature.

Freitag won the high jump event four times in South Africa and still owns the record he established in 2005 when he jumped 2.38 meters.

He became famous worldwide in 2003 when he won the IAAF Globe Championship gold medal by clearing 2.35 meters at Paris’s Stade de France.

Reportedly unable to keep down a full-time job, he resigned from sports in 2013 and has since been sleeping on the streets or sofa surfing.

Only ten athletes, including Jamaican sprinters Veronica Campbell-Brown and Usain Bolt, have won World Championships at all three levels. Freitag was one of them.

Among his many high jump championships are the 1999 Youth, 2000 Junior, and 2003 Senior WCs, all held in Poland, Chile, and France, respectively.

Then, there was the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens when the South African Golden Boy represented his country.