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Sunday 23 June, 2024
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Jim Fox dead at 81, Cause of Death

BY Salman Ahmed Apr 29, 2023. 08:52 pm UPDATED: Apr 29, 2023. 08:52 pm

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JIM FOX, the former Olympic modern pentathlon champion, died at the age of 81.

The British team won gold in Montreal, Canada, in 1976, alongside compatriots Danny Nightingale and Adrian Parker.

The Wiltshire-born actor was notable for exposing the dishonesty of Soviet Union Red Army soldier Boris Onishchenko, who was disqualified after it was revealed that a switch placed in his fencing blade was being used to register fraudulent hits.

While they were fighting, a light flashed to indicate a hit for Onishchenko.

Fox later told the BBC: “All I could think about was that Onishchenko had a weapon that was not properly working.

“And then over a period of minutes, because he was going to put it back in his bag and because of the way he he wanted to put it back in his bag, I felt there was something dramatically wrong.”

Onishchenko’s cheating was soon exposed.

Montreal 1976 official Carl Schwende revealed at the time: “The weapon had definitely been tampered with.

“Someone had wired it in such a way that it would score a winning hit without making contact.”

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Fox was a Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers army sergeant who represented Team GB in four consecutive Games.

After being persuaded not to retire by coach Ron Bright after the 1968 Mexico City Games, he finished fourth in the solo event at Munich in 1972.

He served as chairman of Pentathlon GB after he formally retired from sports.

The governing body said: “All at Pentathlon GB send their condolences to Jim Fox’s family and remain grateful for everything he has done for our sport.”

British Army Sport stated: “Very sad news indeed and our sincere condolences to his family and friends. An outstanding athlete and supporter of Modern Pentathlon in the British Army and for his country.

“RIP Jim and thank you for your service.”

And sports fans on social media added their tributes.

One posted: “So sad. A very charming man and great sportsman.”

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