Tay­lor aims to ‘sleep’ his way to world record

New Straits Times - - Sport -

EUGENE: Triple jump king Chris­tian Tay­lor be­lieves a new sleep reg­i­men could hold the key to his dream of break­ing Jonathan Ed­wards’ 22-year-old world record.

Tay­lor, the reign­ing two-time Olympic and world cham­pion, threat­ened Ed­wards’ 1995 mark on Satur­day with the third long­est leap in history, post­ing 18.11m at the Pre­fontaine Clas­sic.

The Amer­i­can star, who al­ready owns the sec­ond long­est jump (18.21) of all-time, said he has made break­ing Ed­wards’ record of 18.29m the pri­or­ity for the re­main­der of his ca­reer.

“I’m get­ting older and my time is run­ning out,” Tay­lor said. “It’s a small win­dow. I have to cap­i­talise on it while I’m healthy. I can’t play around any more.”

And the Nether­lands-based ath­lete says life­style changes he has im­ple­mented to help him sleep could prove vi­tal in achiev­ing his goal.

“It’s about sleep and re­cov­ery, about re­ally get­ting deeper sleep on a more con­sis­tent ba­sis,” Tay­lor said. “So­cial me­dia has taken over and its con­stant. I’m in Hol­land so I’m sev­eral hours ahead of ev­ery­one else. At mid­night in Hol­land peo­ple in the States are just get­ting off work.

“I re­ally strug­gled with try­ing to stay in touch with my friends. But then I re­alised its tak­ing away from my goal. You can’t ex­pect a top per­for­mance if you’re not giv­ing your body a chance.”

Tay­lor be­lieves the changes to sleep and diet — he has cut down on car­bo­hy­drates — could be worth an “ex­tra three per­cent” of per­for­mance.

“I’ve never doubted my abil­ity,” Tay­lor said. “But it was things that were off the track that were set­ting me back.”

Tay­lor will spend the rest of the sea­son aim­ing to beat Ed­wards’ world record.

“It’s the only rea­son I’m here,” he said. “I’ve got two Olympic ti­tles, two world ti­tles, the Amer­i­can record. I’ve been blessed be­yond be­lief.

“The only thing that kills me now is that I’m num­ber two all­time. And when I hang up my spikes, no­body will re­mem­ber num­ber two.

“I had a good few years and won a good few com­pe­ti­tions. But the record is what’s push­ing me ev­ery sin­gle day.” AFP

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