Christian Taylor, photo by JP Columbo for IAAF
In his second piece on the Brussels DL, Stuart Weir opines on the Triple Jump, an event rumored to be on the chopping block in the Diamond League.
As I watched the men’s triple jump, it was slightly with a sense of foreboding. Was I watching the last ever Diamond League Triple Jump? We know that 2 field events will be cut from the DL program next year and rumours are that the triple jump will be one of them.
That said, the competition was intriguing. For the first time in living memory, double Olympic and triple world champion Christian Taylor was not necessarily the favourite. Will Claye had the world lead, the only man over 18 meters this year.
In the event, Taylor did what champions do. He leapt to 17:85 (over the legal wind limit), to take victory from Claye 17:22.
Earlier in the week saw Willie Banks inducted into the Memorial Van Damme Hall of Fame. The former world record-holder in the triple jump, shared a press conference with Christian Taylor and Will Claye. All three took the opportunity to extol the virtues of the event. “It is the most beautiful event”, said Claye. “It is so artistic”. “Poetry in motion”, added Taylor.
Claye expressed his concern that “it has been talked about it not being part of the Diamond League any more. We’re fighting to keep it. We are trying to keep the triple jump going, to keep it alive. It is so tough to do it correctly so we put in so many hours, studying and training to the point that we can do it the way it should be”.
Taylor took up the baton, saying: “It’s our event. We really need to fight for it. You can’t complain if we’re only jumping 17 metres. We need to set the bar high and speak loudly with our performances. Let’s speak with our distances. We need to get the crowd involved and really trying to bridge that gap.
“It is poetry in motion. If you like fairy tales this is a story. If you like tales of battles, in the triple jump you have the back and forth. You get your money’s worth – we are not there for 9 seconds you get a good hour to 1Â½ hour of watching the unbelievable. We are jumping the distance of a school bus or a volleyball court. I know that there are certain challenges but we have to do more in the presentation of field events. If it is presented as a story told, with back and forth with spectators being kept informed of what is going on”.
I certainly hope that we have not seen the last Diamond League triple jump.
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