Christian Taylor ends his season in DL victory, by Alex Mills


Taylor_ChristianQ-World15.JPgChristian Taylor, photo by

Christian Taylor's 18.21 meter jump or 59 feet, nine inches from Beijing still runs through my head.

A fantastic jump in a fantastic competition.

Taylor and Pichardo thrive on each other.

When Pichardo gave up the ghost in Brussels, it was hard for Taylor to respond. But, he did and won the competition going away.

The next day, I saw Rana Reider, the coach of Taylor. Coach Reider told me that Taylor is in fantastic shape and that they had been training for another big one.

We will now have to wait until 2016...

The triple jump wars go on!

Christian Taylor further reiterated his position as the world number one by defeating rival Pedro Pablo Pichardo in the Brussels Diamond League final to claim his fourth successive DL trophy. In turn, extending his winning streak over his Cuban opponent to four straight competition victories, stretching back to the Doha Diamond League in May.

Taking victory with a best leap of 17.59 metres, Taylor, fresh off becoming the world champion and the second best triple jumper of all-time with his leap of 18.21m two weeks ago, was once more, the most consistent performer on the evening, recording the three best jumps of the competition.

Though Pichardo retired with three rounds to go, the American had already gained a sizeable lead of 40cm at that point and given his ability to give his best in high pressure situations, you sensed if he needed to jump further, he could do. Nevertheless, in spite of Taylor getting the well deserved plaudits, it was a shame that the crowd were not treated to one last intense episode of the rivalry of 2015 in 2015, especially given how finely balanced the DL race was going into the season's finale.

For all Taylor's recent dominance within the rivalry, the American in fact came to Belgium just behind Pichardo, knowing that he would have to beat him once more in order to claim the $40,000 jackpot. Just as there had twice been only two centimetres separating them on the leaderboard this year, that was also the margin separating them in the race before and after they took off down the runway.

Despite fizzling out, it had initially looked as though we might be set for yet another epic battle as both athletes opened up 17.06m. Yet while Taylor then progressed onto 17.46m, Pichardo could only foul, before a sub-par third attempt from both left the Cuban lagging behind. Whether it was that dent to his confidence or more likely an injury issue that he was suffering from, the two-time world silver medallist then dropped out. Though Taylor then elected to pass on his next jump, much to the crowd's delight he returned to the board to end his series impressively, first posting 17.59m, just 1cm from the meeting record, before backing it up with a final round 17.48m. Victory was his, on the night, in the series, in 2015.

"[Winning the Diamond League] It's very special, I love the Diamond League it's my fourth one in a row." he said afterwards "To be honest I wanted a little more fight, but for me the highlight is having a very consistent season, sharing the moment with my coach, we wanted the meet record but nonetheless to come out healthy it's really good going into next year."

On having stayed focused after the brilliance of his world championship performance, he added "Unfortunately, I enjoyed the moment [world gold and 18.21m] but I couldn't top off, I wanted to celebrate and relax but I said, no, no, this is one step but I have to finish the season strong. So I wasn't able to party, I wasn't able to do sightseeing and things like that because I said I have to train, I have to be ready because obviously when Pichardo comes out you never know what he can jump. but now I'm going to be able to enjoy it."

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