Sport

US triple jumper targets Grand Prix for world record effort

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

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Jamaicans could witness history at the JN Racers Grand Prix as triple jump star Christian Taylor of the USA takes aim at the world record.At the Jamaican meet on Saturday, June 10, the 22-year-old mark of 18.29m could be in trouble by the in-form Taylor.

The American, 26, and two-time Olympic champion and two-time World champion, has a personal best of 18.21m, just eight centimetres short of Jonathan Edwards' world record set in 1995.

Taylor, who was born in Fayetteville, Georgia to Barbadian parents, will be in Kingston to salute the legend Usain Bolt who will be performing competitively in Jamaica for the final time.

The meet will feature three world record holders, four Olympic champions and six World champions, and Taylor, no doubt, will be hoping to leave an indelible mark on Jamaica.

He is on a quest to become the greatest triple jumper of all time. The American record-holder showed that he is in fine form by capturing the Prefontaine Classic with a world-leading 18.11m, which is also the third-longest jump of all times.

Taylor has always said when he hangs up his spikes no one will remember the number two jump. He wants to be number one and with that mindset, fans could be in for something special on June 10.

Taylor loves a challenge and none more than snatching victory on the sixth and last jump. He calls it “steals” as he did at the 2016 Rio Olympic and secured his second consecutive Olympic triple jump gold.

“But the victory feels a little sweeter when you are able to steal it from someone on the last one,” he was quoted as saying on the Team USA website.

He continued: “I'm second-best all time and it kills me because I'm eight centimetres away from the world record. That is really what I am chasing now.”

Taylor burst onto the scene at the 2007 World Youth Championship, capturing gold in the triple jump and bronze in the long jump.

He has a personal best of 8.19m for the long jump, 45.17 for the 400m and 20.70 for the 200m, making him one of the most versatile athletes around.

Taylor will be one of a host of stars that will be paying homage to Bolt at the Racers Grand Prix.

— Howard Walker

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