Twenty years after Mike Conley and Charlie Simpkins did it, Christian Taylor and Will Claye go 1, 2 in the Triple Jump. And Christian, challenged by Will, pulls a 17.81m, longest jump in world this year to take gold! Here is how they did it.
Christian Taylor, London 2012 Olympics, photo by PhotoRun.net
Will Claye had a foul in the first round. Fabrizio Donato took the lead in round one with a jump of 17.38m, the only man over 17 meters, as Christian Taylor also fouled.
In round two, Will Claye responded with 17.54m and took the lead from Donato. Donato responded, with 17.44m, to move into silver and Danielle Greco hit 17.34m, and moved into the bronze medal position. Christian Taylor fouled a second time.
In round three, Christian Taylor got out a 17.15m, moving him into fifth place, just behind Leevan Sands, the bronze medalist from 2008.
Claye hit 17.43m, did not improve in round 3. Fabrizio Donato improved to 17.45m, staying in bronze. Danielle Greco fouled and Leevan Sands cleared 17.12m.
In round four, Christian Taylor let er go, and hit 17.81m, the longest throw in the world. Taylor was now in gold medal position. Will Claye responded with 17.62 meters, staying in the silver position.
Fabrizio Donato improved to 17.48m, his best jump of the day, as he would pass in round five and foul in round six. Fabrizio Donato won the first triple jump medal for Italy since 1968.
In round five, Christian Taylor hit 17.55m, so he had the two longest jumps of the day. In round six, he fouled.
In round five, Will Claye went 17.25m, then, in round six, hit 16.66m.
" I am just extremely blessed. I have to give it to God. It is very emotional. Second is my coach, Randy Reina. Randy Reina and I work together day in and day out. Such a blessing
to go 1,2 with Will Claye.I feel great, if we can get young kids jumping and triple jumping, mission is complete. We want people to pay attention to the jumps". was how Christian Taylor summed it up.
Will Claye said, " I could not have asked for a better competition. I thank God for my coach, my sponsor, Nike. I train my butt off and put in a lot of work for this, came out with a silver, and I am speechless. We are, like Brittney Reese and Erik Kynard, in the long jump and triple jump. We are sprinters with attitude. "
"At the Olympic Trials, the theme was this is the hardest team to make. We are here to compete, We have so many blessed athletes in the US, it is a strong nation. We are strong all around. The US is a nation that is always going to be strong. There is no beef, there is no hard feelings, it is great to be with Will Claye. It is nearly same marks we had at the NCAA. " was how Christian Taylor.
" Answering your world record question, only God knows when that will happen. The triple jump is hot right now. Fabrizio could challenge us. We are taking it one jump at a time and one meet at a time." finished Christian Taylor.
Leevan Sands was injured in the fifth round, it looks like ACL. Will Claye said how Leevan is like a big brother and it is terrible to see someone get hurt like that.
Christian Taylor and Will Claye are two thoughtful and classy young men. The US is quite fortunate to have to such great guys represent our country. They can compete with each other and not be jerks with each other. They are students of the sport.
What a great competition!