Christian Taylor, the future of the Triple Jump?



This past weekend Christian Taylor competed in his first Diamond League competition at the Aviva London Grand Prix. Taylor, the four-time NCAA Triple Jump Champ and former athlete of the University of Florida, won the event with a jump of 17.68 meters (see video). The jump marked a new legal personal best for Taylor and currently ranks tied as #3 in the world. The mark also moved Taylor to #7 on the all-time US list, only three centimeters behind two-time World Champion Walter Davis. He also moved just outside of the top-25 on the all-time World list (#27). See the University of Florida interview bio on Christian Taylor for me info on the athlete.

It's been exciting to watch Christian's progress and success through our cover on Flotrack over the past three plus years. In 2008 we were on hand for the National Scholastic Indoor Championships (NSIC) at the Armory in NYC where Taylor earned a triple crown of titles with victories in the Long Jump (25'6.75", video), triple jump (51'3", video) and the 400 meters (47.42, race video). The summer before his NYC performance he won the World Youth Championship title in the triple jump and finished third in the long jump. The following year at the World Junior Championships Taylor only managed to finish eighth and seventh in the triple jump and long jump, respectively. 

2008 interview with Christian Taylor talking Olympics & putting field events on the map.


His World Junior results were no indication of what was to come. During his freshman year at the University of Florida, Christian Taylor battled future teammate Will Claye (Claye was at University of Oklahoma) for one of the best competitions of the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships to win his first NCAA triple jump title. Soon after Taylor showed his versatility as a track and field athlete by running at PR in the 400 meters in 45.34 at the 2009 Florida Relays, an exciting battle that also included Calvin Smith and Jamaal Torrance (race video). He followed up the performance by anchoring the Gators to a 3:02 victory in the 4x400 meter relay and held off Olympic Champ Angelo Taylor in the process.

Final lap of 4x400 at 2009 Florida Relays, Taylor vs. Taylor.


As a sophomore at Florida, Christian Taylor doubled up on NCAA titles when he won both the Indoor and Outdoor titles. In 2011 Taylor lost his first indoor title to teammate Clay, but came back outdoor to win the most exciting triple jump competition in NCAA history. Clay and Taylor went back and forth with some of the best jumps in the world. Taylor ended the series with the top all-time, all-conditions collegiate mark in the triple jump with a mark of 17.80 meters (58'4.75"). He also ended with a new legal PR of 17.40 meters while Claye finished second with marks of 17.62w and a legal 17.35. Taylor's performances during the 2011 seasons have set him as a finalist for this year's Bowerman Award, the top honor in collegiate track and field.

There are a lot of stats and figures here but all in all what it means is that Christian Taylor is very good and on a roll! He has also decide to pass on his final year at the University of Florida as he has signed with Li-Ning, the Chinese based athletics company that has signed some of the biggest international superstars in track and field. Taylor joins the company of stars such as Asafa Powell, Yelena Isinbayeva and Andreas Thorkildsen. On top of that, his teammate Claye has signed with Nike. We could be seeing the making of one of the best jumping rivalries since the jump off between Carl Lewis and Mike Powell. This just may be one of the things that could save the triple jump and raise the interest (see this past interview on the state of the jumps). Could you imagine if we saw more field competitions like this...

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Stuck at home looking for sports to watch? FloTrack has you covered with thousands of videos from years of AAU Track & Field competition. Checkout the links below to rewatch AAU Junior Olympic Games replays as well as some of the exclusive video profiles on AAU athletes. Don't forget to download the FloSports apps to watch on the big screen!

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Track and field, like all sports, is hibernating at the moment, giving plenty of room for idle thoughts. The present situation is dire, but I’ve tried to periodically distract myself with what the running world will look like when the racing resumes. One concept that’s always been interesting to me is round number records. The most famous of which, the four-minute mile, is run with such regularity now that its significance is lessened with each passing decade. Instead, I’m looking at that next set of barriers that help usher in a new digit to an event. 

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Fans of Netflix’s true crime hit Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness have been captivated by the colorful characters, shady dealings and blood-thirsty nature of the big cat industry. The story of eccentric zookeeper Joe Exotic and his various animal associates has enthralled millions across the globe with its revelations of a murder-for-hire plot, copious polygamy, the rumor of a husband fed to a tiger and one dangling eyebrow piercing. 

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IOC Sets New Dates For The 2021 Olympics

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New dates have officially been set for the postponed Olympics. The 2021 Games will be held July 23-August 8, 2021.

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If you're as bummed out by all the COVID-19 cancelations as we are, you're in luck, because FloTrack is going to do something about it! FloTrack, and the entire FloSports network, have a plan to continue bringing high-quality, relevant and timely content to subscribers and fans while showcasing our incredible archive of live sporting event broadcasts.

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Even without the Olympics, track and field in some form may still happen in 2020. But given how difficult containing the coronavirus has proven to be, that is not a guarantee even with several months before certain Diamond League meets are set to be contested. And now that the biggest event on the calendar has been postponed, many athletes may choose to throw in the towel on 2020 in order to preserve themselves for next year. As such, it is entirely possible we’ve seen the last of track and field this season.

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