TAYLOR’STARTED 11CM BACK’FOR WINNING TRIPLE JUMP THAT WAS 8CM SHORT OF WORLD RECORD

Christian Taylor, who won world triple jump gold with 18.21, just eight centimeters short of Jonathan Edwards’s 20-year-old world record, revealed to the post-event press conference that he had actually jumped further than 18.29 as he had started 11cm back from the take-off line.

“Jumping to 18.21 I made really phenomenal first step (5.96+ 5.84 + 6.41),” said the 25-year-old Olympic and defending champion. “But Iknow I wasn’t accurate on the take-off board and my jump was a bit better than the final result showed but I never complain about jumps like that. It was enough to win today and that is the most important thing for now.

“I don’t know what I need to reach this final 8cm to the world record. It’s about the details. It’s about 11cm I lost on the board, it’s about the passion making the jump. It, not the one thing which really makes the difference.

“I think, having such guys like Pichardo and Evora as rivals, who really push me, everything is possible. Men’s triple jump is phenomenal now. To get on the podium you have to do something special.”

Taylor switched to using his right leg for take-off before 2014, but he didn’t credit that as a major factor in his greater distances, adding that another positive factor may have been that he has been training for the long jump as well.

“If you have such a high performance, it can be a little bit difficult to continue that level but we have the IAAF Diamond League final ahead with Pichardo in the field. So. It’s going to be a fight again.”

Pichardo, who has jumped 18.08 this season and took silver in17.73, commented: “I cannot be satisfied with my jumps today. They weren’t too bad but I came here prepared for 18m and over jumps and I hoped to win the gold.

“But tonight I felt like different people compared to yesterday’s qualification. I was slower on the runway and my jumps were harder than yesterday. But even in such conditions, I managed to do some jumps close to18m mark taking into account the place of my take-off. I wasn’t accurate on the board and lost several centimeters in most attempts.”

The 22-year-old added: “I was not shocked by Taylor’s 18.21m. I was highly focused on doing my last attempt, as I knew if I wanted to reach Christians I must do something special. Everything was possible but this time I did not manage to overcome 18m and reach the gold. Maybe it was too big a pressure for only one jump, the last jump.

“This is my second silver medal from World Championships and I am going to improve this achievement next time.”

Meanwhile, Nelson Evora of Portugal, who took bronze with a last round personal best of 17.52 in the stadium where he had won Olympic gold seven years earlier, said he “could not be happier” with his performance.

“Many things were changed since I won the world title in Osaka 2007 and then a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. In 2010 and then in 2012 I had two surgeries on my right tibia and I’m happy I was managed not only to return into the field but also to come back to my best shape ever.

“Beijing stadium is a very special place for me. I just tried to recall all feelings I had in this field seven years ago and tried to feel the same. I just surprised with everything I could do in the field today.”

EXHAUSTED 400M CHAMPION FELIX MISSED MEN’S 200M FINAL WHILE LYING DOWN RECOVERING

Allyson Felix, who earned her first global400m title in the fastest time of the year so far, 49.26sec, told the post-race press conference that she was so exhausted afterward that she missed the start of the following men’s 200 final.

“I wasn’t in quite a good enough state to watch men’s 200,” said the US runner who has won three world titles of her own.“I just laid down on the ground, so I have to go back and watch it again. But I think I’ve seen it from 150 on. Usain is amazing and it was another great performance.”

Felix was one of four finalists who remained sprawled on the ground for several minutes after the race – among them also was defending champion Christine Ohuruogu, who remained on her knees, at one point pressing her forehead to the track, for some time after finishing last in 50.63.

“It’s very different running 400 and 200metres,” Felix said. “The 400 is more difficult because I don’t have this much experience so that was a big challenge for me. As for my strategy, I’m a sprinter and I had to take advantage of my speed, and then I just trusted my fitness coming home. That’s what I tried to do.”

Looking ahead to the possibility of the2016 Olympic program being changed to allow her to double over 200/400m, Felix said: “It would be great if we all have the opportunity to run 200 and400 meters in one event. For me, the choice depends on my fitness. The 200 will always be my favorite.”

WHAT WE LEARNED ON DAY SIX

There are obvious lessons to be drawn from any day by an observant person, such as “some people can throw things farther than others” and “be careful when driving a Segway and operating a steady-cam at the same time”.

Some lessons require a bit more explanation. Here are a few things we learned on Thursday at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015:

The men’s triple jump world record’s days are numbered

Christian Taylor came through with a sixth-round leap of 18.21m in the men’s triple jump final, just eight centimeters shy of Jonathan Edwards’ 20-year-old world record. (Edwards, on Twitter: “You gave me a scare!”) Taylor may have left a few of those centimeters on the take-off board. It’s hard to predict when a championship athlete like Taylor will put together another series like tonight, but as long as Taylor maintains a rivalry with Pedro Pablo Pichardo – second tonight with 17.73m – every time the pair meets could be a potential record scenario.

Pichardo’s mark would have won many World Championships, but for Pichardo, it might even have been an under-performance; the young Cuban is the fourth-longest triple jumper ever.

Taylor’s victory made the triple jump a relatively bright spot in an otherwise disappointing championship for the USA; had Nelson Evora not come through with a 17.52m leap in the sixth round, Omar Craddock might have taken bronze with his 17.37m mark.

It’s possible to set a championship record and be disappointed

Anita Wlodarczyk has the women’s hammer world record of 81.08m from earlier this month, and as her first four throws got progressively longer – she surpassed 80 meters, territory only she has ever reached, on her third throw, and got to 80.85m on her fourth – it was clear she was hoping to get beyond that tonight.

After a 79.31m mark in the fifth round and another lesser throw in the sixth which she then deliberately fouled, Wlodarczyk seemed less than elated with her dominant victory. (Second-place Zhang Wenxiu threw 76.33m.)

Or perhaps Wlodarczyk really was happy but was just remembering her first global title, in Berlin, where she badly injured her ankle when celebrating.

Usain Bolt is really a 200m runner

Bolt looked hard-pressed winning the 100m by .01 on Sunday. But since before the championships started, Bolt has been clear that the 200m is his favorite event, the one that matters to him, and the one he finds easiest.

Sure enough, after making the 100m look hard, he made the 200m look easy, sailing away from Justin Gatlin to take the victory from 19.55 to 19.74. Bolt’s streak in the 200m is now six global titles starting in 2008.

Most interesting was the bronze medal, a South African record of 19.87 from Anaso Jobodwana. He was just .002 ahead of Panama’s Alonso Edward, but his steady improvement suggests more interesting things to come for the young South African. Plus, we enjoy typing “Jobodwana”.

Don’t try to match Allyson Felix’s opening pace

Allyson Felix tore out of the starting blocks for the women’s 400m as though she only had one bend to run. Old habits die hard after all.

Christine Ohuruogu, who had looked impressive throughout the rounds, tried to match that speed and – unusually for her – found herself struggling in the second half. Felix arrived on the final straight with daylight between her and the field and only expanded her lead to the line.

Like Farah in the distance races, it’s hard to see a way Felix could have been beaten tonight. The gap between Felix and Shaunae Miller in second place – 49.26 to 49.67 – was the biggest gap between two runners in the final.

WLODARCZYK: ‘I’M WEAKER THAN MY RIVALS,BUT I WANT TO BREAK THE WORLD RECORD THIS YEAR’

Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk, who produced a winning hammer throw of 80.85m – second only to her August 1 world record of81.08 – believes she is the weakest thrower out there. And yet she is still intent on improving her world record before the season is over.

“My back is very injury prone so I can’t train very hard in the weight room,” she said after regaining a world title she first won in 2009. “I’m sure I’m the weakest out of my rivals in that department. But what I’m the best at is my techniques. I throw a couple of thousand times during a year. And my techniques are what I mostly focus on working with my coach.

“I’m really glad about the outcome of today’s competition. Out of five throws, four were the winning throws. I’m happy I crossed the 80 meters line twice. I showed the world in a major event that I can throw far. So I confirmed my world record result from Cetniewo, and I’m very happy to be a World Champion again after six years.”

Wlodarczyksaid the gold and bronze won here in the men’s hammer throw by, respectively, Pawel Fajdek and Wojciech Nowicki showed that Polish hammer throwing “is the best in the world right now – and I joined to them tonight. I’m happy that we continue the excellent results that were started many years ago by KamilaSkolimowska and Szymon Ziółkowski, who were both Olympic champions from Sydney2000.

“It’s the first time in history that one country has won the World Championships in both men’s and women’s hammer throw, and altogether we have three medals in the hammer. So it is the No1 athletic event in Poland now. And I hope we continue this series for a long time.”

Wlodarczyk, who wore the glove used during competition by her late friend Skolimowska, added:

“I’m the kind of an athlete who enjoys the competition and frankly speaking if there was somebody a little bit closer to my results I could be more motivated. Unfortunately, I had to fight with myself rather but I know I can throw even further and add something to my world record.

“I still have two competitions ahead of me this season, the Berlin ISTAF Meeting and the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial meet in Warsaw. And this is where I will try to throw further and beat my own record.”

MeanwhileChina’s 29-year-old Wenxiu Zhang, who took silver with 76.33, said she had hoped for a victory in her eighth World Championships, where she has already taken three bronzes.

“I hoped I would hear the Chinese national anthem tonight,” she said. “I want to congratulate my Polish rival for beating the Championship record. It was a long journey for me to be in eight World Championships. I’m pursuing my dreams. My aim is not to become popular by showing up so many times at this event but I want to prove myself and spare no effort to have good results.

“I went to my first championships when I was 15 in 2001 and even though I’m not the eldest I have the most experience from all athletes I compete against now. A hammer throw is a very tough event, training is hard but that is part of my life. Last year my preparations were disturbed but I still feel I can improve and happily continue my career for a couple of more years.”

WANG COULD BE CHINA’S NEXT BIG ATHLETICS STAR

In taking the bronze medal in the long jump on Tuesday, China’s Wang Jianan broke more than one record.

Before the World Championships, Wang – who turned 19 on Thursday (27) – was not considered to be a serious medal candidate. But it’s not as though he came out of nowhere, having jumped an Asian junior record of 8.25m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai in May.

His last three meetings before Beijing – 7.88m in Hengelo, 7.71m in Geneva, and 7.89m in Beijing – did not suggest that he’d be capable of reaching the final, let alone challenging for a medal. In addition, Wang was also suffering from a hamstring injury and some technical problems.

But, come the time of the championships, all of that did not prevent the youngster from getting into the record books.

Traditionally, it has been rare for young athletes to win medals in the men’s long jump at global championships. Aside from USA’s 19-year-old Randy Williams winning Olympic gold in 1972 and Jamaica’s 20-year-old James Beckford taking World Championships silver in 1995, the long jump has been the domain of the more experienced athlete.

Not even winning a world junior title – as Wang did last year in Eugene – is a guarantee for making it to a senior championship one year later. Yet Wang did not simply ‘compete’ in Beijing; he qualified for the final and won a medal.

Most world junior long jump champions take longer to breakthrough. 2012 winner and world junior record-holder Sergey Morgunov did not make the Russian team for the 2013 or 2015 World Championships. The 2008 winner, USA’s Marquise Goodwin, took four years to qualify for a senior championships final, while 2006 champion Robbie Crowther made it to the 2011 World Championships but was some way off making the final.

The last man to take a senior medal after winning the world junior long jump title is Italy’s Andrew Howe, who won the 2004 world junior title and then three years later took silver in Osaka with an 8.47m PB.

Wang also became the first Asian athlete to win a medal in the men’s long jump at the World Championships. Two athletes – the latest being Li Jinzhe in Sopot last year – have done it indoors, but before last night’s bronze medal, the best Asian performance outdoors at the World Championships was the fifth place by Saudi-Arabian Hussein Taher Al-Seabee in 2003.

Wang, like the whole Chinese trio in Beijing, is co-coached by Zhao Lei and USA’s Randy Huntingdon, the man who guided triple jump legend Willie Banks and long jump world record-holder Mike Powell. The veteran coach seems to have had a good effect, because Wang’s jumping at the Bird’s Nest stadium was extremely consistent, producing his second, third and fourth-best ever jumps in the most important competition of the season.

Born in Shenyang, Liaoning province, on 27 August 1996, Wang started out not as a long jumper, but as a pole vaulter. He moved to the city of Xuzhou in Jiangsu province – some 600km north of Shanghai – to attend an athletics school in 2011 and was introduced to the combined events.

Then, after completing the first – and last – decathlon of his career, at a national competition in Zhaoqing in 2012, the coaches noted his ability to long jump. Ever since that summer, he has concentrated solely on that event.

The then 16-year-old scored a respectable 7063 in the decathlon with senior implements in that competition, the second-best performance in the world among youth athletes in 2012. In addition to the long jump personal best of 7.80m, he also excelled in other events within that decathlon, running 10.88 in the 100m, clearing a PB of 5.00m in the pole vault, and leaping 1.94m in the high jump.

He went on to compete for one final time in the pole vault at the national youth championships, where he won the title with 4.85m. But he ended his season by surprising all of his country’s top long jumpers when winning the national senior title with a PB of 8.04m. Aged 16 years and 26 days, it was his first leap beyond eight meters.

He focused exclusively on the long jump from the start of 2013, and won his first senior Asian title with a 7.95m season’s best in July, but then did not qualify for the final in Moscow at his first World Championships.

Last year started brighter, with Wang jumping his first eight-meter leap indoors (8.02m). Following an outdoor opener and PB of 8.10m, he easily won the world junior title in Eugene with 8.08m.

Having already achieved so much while still a teenager, and now seemingly settled on one event, it will be fascinating to see how far – both literally and figuratively – Wang will go in the future.

LIU HONG AND XIUZHI DECIDED TO KEEP EACH OTHER COMPANY TO THE LINE

Women’s20km race walker Liu Hong, who won China’s first gold of the Championships this morning, explained how she had agreed with silver medallist and team-mateXiuzhi Lu that they wouldn’t speed up at the finish after entering the stadium together.

“At the end of the race Lu and I talked,” said 28-year-old Liu, who finished astride ahead although both walkers were given the time of 1hr 27min 45sec. “We’re both from the Chinese team but we don’t train together and don’t know each other that much.

“We talked about whether we should engage in a really fierce competition because each of us wanted this gold. But then my little sister said ‘Let’s just enter the stadium like this’, so there wasn’t a very fierce ending.”

Liu, who set a world record of 1:24.38 in winning the IAAF Race Walking Challenge in Coruna in June, added:

“I was under a lot of pressure today. I felt the responsibility and the mission.

“ButI have also myself to blame for building this pressure because I broke the world record this year. And in the women’s race walking there are many great athletes, record-holders who didn’t come to Beijing Championships.

“So that is why I put a lot of pressure on myself, I wanted to show I’m capable to win here. Still, I felt very confident as my preparation went very well this season and I had no injuries. I entered this Championship knowing I was in very good shape and I’m very excited to have this gold medal as it was my dream.

“The injuries that bothered me at the last World Championships in Moscow and during last year’s Race Walking World Cup made me change my training techniques. Also, we have now the best doctors taking care of us in the Chinese team. So this year I was able to avoid injuries and that’s why I’m in such good shape.

“WithLu we were among the strongest walkers in our event, so we started really fast and there were no people following us. So we kept our pace and finished the race with it. In the latter half, the rest of the field increased the speed and so did we. We had a few warnings. But throughout the race, we were our own competitors.”

Lu,21, commented: “It was my first performance at the World Championships and I’m so glad to get a silver medal today.”

Bronze medallist Lyudmyla Olyanovska of Ukraine, who finished in 1:28.13, said she knew gold was going to the host nation.

“Even before the race, I knew that Chinese walkers would do everything to win at the home championships,” she said.

“AfterLiu set the world record earlier this year, it was absolutely clear that she was going to take gold in Beijing. We discussed with my coach different options for this race strategy but we decided that it would be better to keep my own speed, starting more or less slow to save the power for the second half of the distance but keeping the leaders in sight.

“We were also taking weather conditions into account. Certainly, I was preparing for Beijing in the hot climate zone as well but humidity is too high here. It wasn’t easy to bear but I had incredible support from all our team and even Chinese people. That fact inspired me a lot. I had a difficult moment at the14km mark but fortunately, it wasn’t protracted and I managed to speed up.”