Record eludes tri­umphant Tay­lor

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

LON­DON — Dou­ble Olympic cham­pion Chris­tian Tay­lor con­tin­ued his dom­i­nance of the triple jump when he won his third world ti­tle on Thurs­day, once again beat­ing fel­low Amer­i­can Will Claye into sec­ond place.

Tay­lor leapt 17.68 me­ters with his third at­tempt to win by five cen­time­ters, clinch­ing the ti­tle when Claye was given a red flag on his last jump. Por­tu­gal’s Nel­son Evora, the Olympic cham­pion in 2008 in Bei­jing, took bronze with 17.19m.

The 27-year-old Tay­lor be­came the first triple-jumper to win three world crowns, hav­ing claimed vic­tory in Daegu in 2011 and Bei­jing two years ago. He also took gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics with Claye fin­ish­ing sec­ond on both oc­ca­sions.

But he had made it clear be­fore­hand that his am­bi­tion was to break Bri­ton Jonathan Ed­wards’ record of 18.29m, set in 1995.

“I have this watch from my spon­sor with 18.30 on it,” Tay­lor said. “I will try to fight, I will get this num­ber. The record is still on. I am still mo­ti­vated to break that record.

“My mo­ti­va­tion is to be the best ath­lete. This was not the night, I am a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed. But the sea­son is not over.”

Ed­wards said be­fore­hand that he thought his world mark could be un­der threat. The con­test, though, turned into some­thing of an anti-cli­max with Tay­lor and Claye both pro­duc­ing their best jumps in the third round.

Claye led af­ter the first round with 17.54m be­fore Tay­lor took the ini­tia­tive in the sec­ond with a jump of 17.57.

Claye briefly re­gained the lead with 17.63 in the next round but Tay­lor im­me­di­ately took it back with the de­ci­sive jump.

“Will makes it tough every time,” he said. “If you do not have a ri­valry — like I have with Will Claye — then the sport is boring.

“One month ago we did a com­pe­ti­tion in the moun­tains, we are try­ing ev­ery­thing to do this num­ber, even in the moun­tains.”

Claye felt he should have per­formed bet­ter on the night.

“You can never com­plain about the sil­ver medal,” he said. “But I felt like I should have ex­e­cuted bet­ter to­day.

“With Chris­tian, we both were in a good shape, he is not un­beat­able. He just ex­e­cuted bet­ter and I was miss­ing five cen­time­ters.”

DY­LAN MAR­TINEZ / REUTERS

Cris­tian Napoles of Cuba in ac­tion dur­ing the men’s triple jump fi­nal at the IAAF World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don on Thurs­day.

DY­LAN MAR­TINEZ / REUTERS

Chris­tian Tay­lor and Will Claye cel­e­brate their Amer­i­can one-two at the world cham­pi­onships.

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