Christian Taylor (athlete)

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Christian Taylor
Christian Taylor Daegu 2011.jpg
Taylor at the 2011 World Championships Athletics in Daegu.
Personal information
Nationality  United States
Born (1990-06-18) June 18, 1990 (age 24)
Fayetteville, Georgia
Residence Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK[1]
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 175 lb (79 kg)
Sport Track and field
Event(s) Triple jump, long jump
College team University of Florida
Club Li-Ning
Coached by Rana Reider[1]

Christian Taylor (born June 18, 1990) is an American track and field athlete who competes in the triple jump and has a personal record of 17.96 m (58 ft 11 in). He is the reigning Olympic champion and was the gold medalist at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics.

He was the triple jump champion and long jump bronze medalist at the 2007 World Youth Championships in Athletics. He established himself as a top level triple jumper at the University of Florida, where he won back-to-back NCAA Indoor titles and then consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championship titles in 2010 and 2011. Taylor won his first USA Outdoor national title in 2011.

He followed his national title with a win in the triple jump at the 2011 World Championships, upsetting the field with the tenth best jump in history. He was a member of the 2012 United States Olympic team and won the gold medal in the triple jump at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He placed fourth at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics.

He also competes in the long jump – with a best of 8.19 m (26 ft 1014 in) – and in the sprints to a high level: his best for the 400-meter dash is 45.34[2] seconds and he has run 20.76 seconds for the 200-meter dash.[3]


Early life and career[edit]

Born in Fayetteville, Georgia to Barbadian parents,[4] he attended Sandy Creek High School and played for their football and track and field teams. He set state high school records in the long jump, triple jump and the 400-meter dash, later going on to score a hat-trick of titles in those events at the 2008 National Scholastic Indoor Championships.[5] He made his first international appearances while he was a high school student: he won the triple jump gold medal at the 2007 World Youth Championships in Athletics and also claimed the long jump bronze.[6] The following year he was a finalist in both jumps at the 2008 World Junior Championships in Athletics.[3]

Taylor went on to attend the University of Florida in 2009 and in his first year he won three titles at the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships (long jump, triple jump, 4×400-meter relay). At the NCAA Indoor Championship he won the triple jump, came sixth in the long jump and helped Florida reach third on the podium in the relay. He closed his freshman year with a third place finish in the triple jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Taylor established himself as the one of his country's best with a clearance of 17.18 m in March 2010, which made him the best American triple jumper that year.[7] He was unrivalled in the event collegiately as he won both the SEC Indoor and Outdoor titles, and completed an Indoor/Outdoor NCAA double. On top of this, he won two further SEC titles in the relay, was third in the long jump at the SEC Indoors, and jumped a personal record of 8.19 m as the SEC Outdoors runner-up.[5] Away from collegiate competition, he also won triple and long jump titles at the 2010 NACAC Under-23 Championships,[8] and was the silver medallist behind Kenta Bell at the 2010 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.[9]

2011 world champion[edit]

He began his 2011 season with a personal and championship record triple jump of 17.36 m to claim the SEC Indoor title ahead of fellow Florida Gator Will Claye.[10] He was also runner-up in the relay and eighth in the long jump.[5] At the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships their positions were reversed, as Taylor finished second and Claye succeeded his team-mate as the NCAA indoor champion.[11] The pair continued their rivalry at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and delivered one of the highest calibre triple jump contests in the history of the competition. A good wind conditions aided the jumpers to marks over 17.30 m in the opening rounds, then Taylor took the lead with a personal record of 17.40 m (wind at the 2.0 m/s limit). Claye regained the lead by a centimetre, only for Taylor to respond with a wind-assisted 17.80 m which was enough to secure a second consecutive NCAA Outdoor title.[12]

The two Florida Gators both took their talents to the 2011 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, where they repeated their top-two finish as Taylor claimed his first national title with a wind-assisted 17.49 m.[13] Taylor proved himself to be a contender for a world medal as he defeated all comers at the London Grand Prix, including the reigning world champion Phillips Idowu, with a personal best jump of 17.68 m.[14]

At the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Taylor won the triple jump title with a distance of 17.96 m, a personal best for him and beating defending champion Phillips Idowu.[15] Idowu started the competition with a jump of 17.56 m. Then proceeded to jump 17.38 m and 17.70 m on his second and third attempt and looked poised to win the gold after jumping 17.77 m on his fourth attempt. Taylor never really looked like a serious gold medal threat before his fourth jump. He started with a no mark on his first attempt and only managed to jump 17.04 m and 17.40 m on his second and third attempt, respectively. On Taylor's fourth attempt, he leaped a distance of 17.96 m, a huge improvement from his previous personal best of 17.68 m, and was good enough for the gold medal. The jump was also the tenth best jump in history. Idowu could not respond to Taylor's distance and had to settle for the silver medal.[16]

2012 season[edit]

He came second to Will Claye at both the USA Indoor Championships and the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships, although his clearance of 17.63 m was an indoor personal best.[17] He defeated his rival at the 2012 Prefontaine Classic with a meet record jump of 17.62 m in June.[18]

2013 Move to England[edit]

Taylor's coach, Rana Reider, was hired by British Athletics in late 2012 to work with elite-level British sprinters and jumpers at the High Performance Athletics Centre (HiPAC) at Loughborough University. Taylor followed Reider to the English Midlands after the 2012 London Olympics. Taylor talked about the transition to living and training in England in a "Feature Interview" for Track & Field News magazine April 2014 issue. He said the biggest challenge was the cooler weather (compared to what he enjoyed in Gainesville, Florida), but that he enjoyed living in an apartment in the center of Loughborough and being able to skateboard the one mile to the HiPAC facility.

2014 Outdoor Season, Addition of the 400 Meters[edit]

In an April 2014 "Feature Interview" for Track & Field News, Taylor said that, after finishing 2013 ranked No. 2 in the world, he and Coach Reider planned to treat 2014 as "a down year", since there were no World or Olympic championships.[19] He planned to run a lot more. As a way of mixing-up his training, he planned to compete in some 400 Meter races in the United States, beginning with the Florida Relays in Gainesville on April 4–5, 2014. Taylor once ran 400 Meters in 45.34 seconds during his freshman year (2009) at the University of Florida. [Note: Running under 45 seconds would place Taylor amongst the world's elite quarter-milers.] At the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, Taylor ran 45.17 making him a unique dual treat. Taylor holds a 17.96 meters triple jump closing in on Edwards' triple jump record.[20]

Major competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing the  United States
2007 World Youth Championships Ostrava, Czech Republic 3rd Long jump 7.29 m
1st Triple jump 15.98 m
2008 World Junior Championships Bydgoszcz, Poland 7th Long jump 7.41 m
8th Triple jump 15.61 m
2010 NACAC U23 Championships Miramar, Florida, United States 1st Long jump 7.82m (wind: +0.0 m/s)
1st Triple jump 16.66m (wind: 1.2 m/s)
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 1st Triple jump 17.96 m
2012 World Indoor Championships Istanbul, Turkey 2nd Triple jump 17.63 m
Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 1st Triple jump 17.81 m
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 4th Triple jump 17.20 m

Personal bests[edit]

Event Best (m) Venue Date
Triple jump (outdoor) 17.96 Daegu, South Korea September 4, 2011
Triple jump (indoor) 17.63 Istanbul, Turkey March 11, 2012
Long jump (outdoor) 8.19 Knoxville, Tennessee May 15, 2010
Long jump (indoor) 8.02 Fayetteville, Arkansas February 13, 2009
  • All information taken from IAAF profile.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gibson, Charlie (1 May 2013). "Christian Taylor ‘mentally stronger’ for UK move". Athletics Weekly. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Taylor, Christian. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  4. ^ King, Mike (2011-09-05). Triple joy. Nation News. Retrieved on 2012-06-05.
  5. ^ a b c Christian Taylor. Florida Gators. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  6. ^ Mulkeen, Jon (2007-07-14). Czech land first gold of championships – Day Four Evening Report. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  7. ^ 2010 World Comprehensive List – Men. Track & Field News (2010). Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  8. ^ NACAC Under 23 Championships – 7/9/2010 to 7/11/2010. HalfMileTiming. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  9. ^ Morse, Parker (2010-06-26). Patterson, Felix steal the show: USATF Nationals, Day 1 & 2. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  10. ^ Ramsak, Bob (2011-02-28). Teen phenom James smashes through 45-second barrier in Fayetteville. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  11. ^ Dunaway, James (2011-03-13). Drouin tops 2.33m, Hasay takes double in College Station – NCAA Indoors, Day 2. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  12. ^ Dunaway, James (2011-06-11). With 100m / Long Jump double win, Makusha joins legendary company – NCAA championships – UPDATED. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  13. ^ Lee, Kirby (2011-06-14). Carter prevails in epic women’s Shot Put battle in Eugene – USA champs, Day 1. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  14. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (2011-08-06). Richards-Ross sizzles 49.66 in London – Day Two REPORT – Samsung Diamond League. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  15. ^ "2011 World Championships in Athletics – Men's triple jump (final)". Omega Timing. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  16. ^ "Phillips Idowu enjoys silver lining despite new kid on the block". The Guardian (London). 2011-09-04. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  17. ^ EVENT REPORT - Men's Triple Jump - Final. IAAF (2012-03-11). Retrieved on 2012-06-02.
  18. ^ Gains, Paul (2012-06-02). Dibaba 30:24.39 and Kiprop 27:01.98 on stunning but wet first night in Eugene – Samsung Diamond League. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-06-03.
  19. ^ Track & Field News monthly magazine, April 2014 (Vol. 67, no. 4; pp. 14-16), feature "T&FN Interview: Christian Taylor".
  20. ^

External links[edit]