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Barbados on his mind

Mike King

Barbados on his mind

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Christian Taylor, the new king of triple jumping had dreams of representing Barbados, the birth place of his parents.
His grandfather Grantley Taylor told the MIDWEEK?NATION that Christian loves Barbados.
“He loves Barbados and would have loved to represent Barbados but it just wasn’t possible.
“He was here last year, but this year was too busy for him and he hasn’t had the chance to come. Every opportunity he gets, he comes to Barbados, and like his grandfather, likes to be on Accra Beach,” he said.
Christian, who was born in New York, but is now resident in Florida, has formed a formidable partnership with compatriot Will Claye, who took bronze in the triple jump.
They are a desperately earnest pair – Claye celebrated by fetching a bible from his bag and brandishing it above his head, while Taylor said: “I do this event because it is the closest I can get to flying.”
They train together in Florida, and are both in their first senior season on the circuit. Taylor is 21, Clay, 20, and both are part of the future.
It was the first time the United States has produced two medals in the men’s triple jump since 1991 when Kenny Harrison and Mike Conley took gold and bronze in Tokyo.
“We came out here, did our best, and ended up doing big things,” Claye, the youngest-ever medallist in the triple jump, said.
The fourth round proved to be the decision-maker, as Taylor took his record-breaking fourth jump, one that forced the thousands in Daegu onto their feet as Taylor jumped out of the building with a world-leading 17.96 metres, good for fifth all-time in the world record books and the longest triple jump for an American male in over two decades.
Taylor was one centimetre away from the American record, as American Willie Banks jumped 17.97 metres on June 16, 1985.
His gold medal-winning jump was the second longest in World Championships’ history behind Britain’s Jonathan Edwards’ world record of 18.29 metres, achieved 16 years ago in the 1995 IAAF World Championships in Gothenburg.
Taylor and Claye will now turn their attention to the 2012 Olympics. Both men were considered underdogs heading into the World Championships in Daegu, but are certain to have the spotlight thrust upon them in the competitions leading up to London.
“Today was my day, but I will stay calm and keep working hard,” Taylor said. “This is a work in progress.”