Christian Taylor (athlete)

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Christian Taylor
Christian Taylor Beijing 2015.2.jpg
Taylor after his victory in Bejing 2015
Personal information
National team  United States
Born (1990-06-18) June 18, 1990 (age 25)
Fayetteville, Georgia
Residence Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK[2]
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[1]
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[2]
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 18.21 m (59 ft 834 in)

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 18.21 m (59 ft 834 in), which ranks 2nd on the all-time list. He is the reigning Olympic champion and current World Champion.

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, but was able to regain his title at the 2015 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 45.17[3] seconds and he has run 20.70 seconds for the 200-meter dash.[4]


Early life and career[edit]

Born in Fayetteville, Georgia to Barbadian parents,[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] The following year he was a finalist in both jumps at the 2008 World Junior Championships in Athletics.[4]

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.[8] 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.[6] Away from collegiate competition, he also won triple and long jump titles at the 2010 NACAC Under-23 Championships,[9] and was the silver medallist behind Kenta Bell at the 2010 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.[10]

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.[11] He was also runner-up in the relay and eighth in the long jump.[6] 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.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

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.[18] He defeated his rival at the 2012 Prefontaine Classic with a meet record jump of 17.62 m in June.[19]

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.[20] 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 at the Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix in 2015

Taylor opened season in a competitive event at Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix. His 18.04 m (59 ft 2 in) on his final attempt equalled the number 4 performer in history, Teddy Tamgho. Coming into the meet, that would be the third best mark, however earlier in the rounds 21-year-old Pedro Pablo Pichardo had jumped 18.06 m (59 ft 3 in), so Taylor was jumping just to try to get out of second place, Tamgho in third had already hobbled off the track injured.

This was the first competition in history to have two men jump over 18 metres, already called "the greatest triple jump competition ever.".[21] However, Taylor overcame Pichardo at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. His jump of 18.21 m beat the Cuban by almost 50 cm and ranks just 8 cm behind the World Record of Jonathan Edwards. It set a new American record in the event.[22] Retrieved on May 28, 2015. (#2 All time - 2015 World Leader, Area Record, National Record) - Christian Taylor 18.21 meters = 59' 8.9"[23]

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 7.82 m (wind: +0.0 m/s)
1st Triple jump 16.66 m (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
2014 World Relay Championships Nassau, Bahamas 1st 4×400 m relay 2:57.25
2015 World Championships Beijing, China 1st Triple jump 18.21 m AR

Personal bests[edit]

Event Best (m) Venue Date
Triple jump (outdoor) 18.21 AR Beijing, China August 27, 2015
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. ^ Christian Taylor.
  2. ^ a b Gibson, Charlie (May 1, 2013). "Christian Taylor ‘mentally stronger’ for UK move". Athletics Weekly. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ Track & Field Results Reporting System. TFRRS. Retrieved on May 28, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Taylor, Christian. IAAF. Retrieved on August 7, 2011.
  5. ^ King, Mike (September 5, 2011). Triple joy. Nation News. Retrieved on 2012-06-05.
  6. ^ a b c Christian Taylor. Florida Gators. Retrieved on August 7, 2011.
  7. ^ Mulkeen, Jon (July 14, 2007). Czech land first gold of championships – Day Four Evening Report. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  8. ^ 2010 World Comprehensive List – Men. Track & Field News (2010). Retrieved on August 7, 2011.
  9. ^ NACAC Under 23 Championships – 7/9/2010 to 7/11/2010. HalfMileTiming. Retrieved on August 7, 2011.
  10. ^ Morse, Parker (June 26, 2010). Patterson, Felix steal the show: USATF Nationals, Day 1 & 2. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  11. ^ Ramsak, Bob (February 28, 2011). Teen phenom James smashes through 45-second barrier in Fayetteville. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  12. ^ Dunaway, James (March 13, 2011). Drouin tops 2.33m, Hasay takes double in College Station – NCAA Indoors, Day 2. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  13. ^ Dunaway, James (June 11, 2011). With 100m / Long Jump double win, Makusha joins legendary company – NCAA championships – UPDATED. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  14. ^ Lee, Kirby (June 14, 2011). Carter prevails in epic women’s Shot Put battle in Eugene – USA champs, Day 1. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  15. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (August 6, 2011). Richards-Ross sizzles 49.66 in London – Day Two REPORT – Samsung Diamond League. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-08-07.
  16. ^ "2011 World Championships in Athletics – Men's triple jump (final)" (PDF). Omega Timing. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Phillips Idowu enjoys silver lining despite new kid on the block". The Guardian (London). September 4, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  18. ^ EVENT REPORT – Men's Triple Jump – Final. IAAF (March 11, 2012). Retrieved on 2012-06-02.
  19. ^ Gains, Paul (June 2, 2012). 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.
  20. ^ Track & Field News monthly magazine, April 2014 (Vol. 67, no. 4; pp. 14–16), feature "T&FN Interview: Christian Taylor".
  21. ^ Pichardo vs Taylor clash in Doha is greatest triple jump competition ever – IAAF Diamond League
  22. ^,-Felix-takes-400,-G.aspx
  23. ^

External links[edit]