After the Long Jump, Christian Taylor becomes a spectator, by Elliot Denman

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Christian Taylor, photo by PhotoRun.net

Christian Taylor leaped 18.04 meters. I should know, I witnessed it! That day, Christian's coach, Rana Reider confided: " Christian needed that jump, now he can focus on the competition."

In Eugene, Christian Taylor will be jumping in the long jump as he has an automatic in the TJ to Beijing. 

Here is Elliot Denman's piece on our fabulous jumper. 


EUGENE, Oregon.  - They called the Doha Diamond League triple jump last month "the greatest triple jump competition in history."

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Pedro Pablo Pichardo leaped 18.06m, photo by PhotoRun.net

  Cuba's Pedro Pablo Pichardo finally won it at 59-3 (18.06 meters) to USA's Christian Taylor at 59-2 ¼ (18.04.)  For the first time in a single meet, two men had gone over 59 feet/ 18 meters.
      In the process of their big leaping in Doha, Pichardo and Taylor  hop-stepped-jumped to  the 3-4 spots on the all-time world list.
  Only Great Briton Jonathan Edwards (60-0 ¼ / 18.29 back in 1995) and USA's Kenny Harrison (59-4 1/4/ 18.09 in 1996) have ever gone farther.  Oh, France's Teddy Tamgho, had gone (59-2 ¼ /18.04 in 2013 so Taylor is actually equal, not outright, fourth all-time.  (Unfortunately, Tamgho went on the injured list in the big Doha meet and is out inefinitely.)
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    Teddy Tamgho, photo by PhotoRun.net
Well, they wowed 'em in Qatar and now Taylor plans to wow 'em at historic Hayward Field.
  Of course, Pichardo is not here this weekend - this being the USA National Track and Field Championships - but the high-stakes rematches) will almost surely come - likely twice (the Pan Am Games in Toronto in July, the World Championships in Beijing in August.)
 He has cometo "Tracktown USA," instead to long jump only.  He arrives in super shape and promises the fans
at historic Hayward Field he'll deliver a performance to remember. Maybe even, as they say around this venerable edifice, an "historic" one.."
Well, why not?.
  Not only has he come to "Tracktown USA" in super shape but he promises the fans at historic Hayward Field to deliver a performance or two to remember.  Maybe even, as they say around the venerable edifice, "historic."
  Well, why not?.
  "They're paying good money to see this meet, and I appreciate that," he said at
a pre-Nationals press conference.
  "So I want o to give them a show, give them some entertainment."
  The triple jump - with its built-in rhythmic clapping dynamic (pioneered by ex-world record-holder Willie Banks) is always a big-meet feature.  And when athletes like Taylor leap great distances into the sand pit, it's even more so.
     When he TJed  to the gold medal at the 2011 World Track and Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea, it was confirmation of Taylor's emergence into elite status.
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Christian Taylor wins WC 2011 in Daegu, Korea! photo by PhotoRun.net 
A year later, the-now 25-year-old, Uniondale, N.Y-born, Georgia-prepped, Florida-schooled athlete who now trains with coach Rana Rieder in Amsterdam (the Netherlands, not New York),  put his talent onto a new planet.
 With his TJ of 58-5 3/4/ 17.82 at London's Olympic Stadium in 2012, Taylor brought new relevance to an event that's often been an afterthought in the U.S.
  "I just hope a lot of kids back home are paying attention," said Taylor after collecting his gold.
 "The triple jump is a great event and a challenging event. For too long, though, we (Americans) haven't been paying attention.
  "Maybe this will change things."
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   Christian Taylor takes London gold, photo by PhotoRun.net
Not only did Taylor take the TJ gold in London but his former Florida teammate, Will Claye leaped off with the silver (and added a silver in the long jump for an historic achievement; not since Naoto Tajima of Japan at
Berlin had one man medaled in the two Olympic horizontal jumps.)
   "He (Edwards) is the best," Taylor has said many times. "He's my idol. I've watched footage of him at the (1996) Atlanta and (2000) Olympic Games,
He was so technically perfect. He didn't make mistakes."
  Going into London, the U.S. hadn't had an Oympic medal-winning triple jumper since Kenny Harrison edged Edwards for the gold in 1996; four years earlier, Mike Conley and Charles Simpkins had antedated the Taylor-Claye feat by going 1-2 at Barcelona.
 These days, Taylor trains at the Dutch Olympic Center with Rieder and the partnership continues to reap dividends.  They have infinite trust in each other. 
  When Rieder yells "jump," Taylor will surely jump far.
  And he does it the pure way, the clean way.
   In an era when a cloud of suspicion hovers over too many other world class athletes, there has never been a whisper of suspicion over Christian Taylor.
  Oh, he does admit taking an Aleve or two to relieve the TJ/LJ-induced throbbing of assorted joints.  Oh, what a relief this has always been to him.
  Latest addition to his pharmacy chest is  a supply of Tiger Balm.
  Not only does it work wonders for him, but they hope Taylor does wonders for Tiger Balm.
  Hot off the wires is this press release:
  "Christian Taylor will promote the brand via his social media channels, and in person at numerous events and competitions throughout the year. Tiger Balm will also be highlighted in his documentary about his journey to the 2016 Olympics, as well as other video productions. Plans are in development to feature him in future Tiger Balm print and digital ad campaigns.

"We are delighted to have Christian Taylor represent the Tiger Balm brand," said Kenneth Yeung, Founder and President of Prince of Peace Enterprises, Inc., the sole licensed United States distributor for all Tiger Balm products. "He has a winning personality and is a fierce competitor who has reached the pinnacle of his sport. That he would use Tiger Balm while training for the 2016 Rio Olympics speaks volumes to the power of the product."
  
 Taylor also knows he needs to keep his body hydrated  at all times - so that's why
he'll chug-a-lug quarts and quarts of plain old H2O and Gatorade (as aformer Florida Gator, most appropriate.)
 When he feels protein-deprived, he has that one figured out, too.
  The answer is labeled "Muscle Milk."
  "Love the stuff," he tells you.
  And loveliest of all, it's legal-legal-legal.

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