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.”