Stockholm Olympic Stadium, Sweden, 16 June 2016.
A cool and damp evening in Stockholm’s Olympic Stadium meant far from ideal conditions for the 4th event in the 2016 Men’s Triple Jump Diamond Race and this was reflected in many of the distances acheived by some of the world’s best jumpers. With most if the athletes competing in full-length lycra tights to protect against the damp 14°C/57°F temperature, sub 17 metre jumps could be expected and so it proved for 7 of the 8 men. The one exception to this was the athlete who re-enforced his domination of the event this year and added to the belief that one day he could be the man to re-write the World Record mark – World and Olympic Champion Christian Taylor.
Opening with a modest 16.70m, Taylor defied the inclement conditions with an impressive 17.24m into a 0.3m/s headwind in round 2, backed up with 17.06m (-0.4m/s) in round 3. With the competition safely in the bag, Taylor could have been excused for not improving further – or even taking more jumps on such an evening. Once again, however, he demonstrated his competitive spirit – this time against the elements – and self-belief, as well as his loyalty to the fans at the event, as he bounded out to 17.27m (-0.4m/s) in round 4. Passing round 5, Taylor took the runway for his last effort as determined as ever and, as usual, carrying great speed through the board, he bound out to an amazing 17.59m into a 0.6m/s breeze. This must rank as one of the most impressive jumps of his career given the conditions and given the fact he was still wearing his lycra tights. His jump was actually even greater than 17.59m, as the flapping number on his back cut the sand at the point of measurement, a good 6-7cm behind where his back landed. When I asked Christian Taylor later if his number had cut his distance he confirmed “Yes it did. I need to do a better job pinning it down”.
Behind Taylor, Guyana’s Troy Doris took 2nd place with his 4th round effort of 16.70m (-0.4m/s) and backed this up with jumps of 16.59m and 16.55m. Chris Carter took 3rd in his Diamond League debut this season with his 3rd round leap of 16.52m, edging out fellow American Chris Benard who recorded 16.39m twice as well as jumps of 16.37m and 16.34m.
Outside the top 4, Tosin Oke leapt 16.30m in round 2, backed up with 16.27m with his 3rd effort. Alexis Copello was just 3 points behind Christian Taylor in the Diamond Race going into Stockholm, but could only finish 6th with 16.29m, edging out Omar Craddock on countback. The American suffered his 2nd disappointing Diamond League performance within 7 days, after his 16.48m in Oslo, and will need to show improved form if he is to challenge at the American Olympic Trials next month. Spain’s Pablo Torrijos struggled with his run-up throughout the event, 15.75m on his last attempt proving to be his best mark.
1. Christian Taylor (USA) 17.59m (-0.6m/s)
2. Troy Doris (Guyana) 16.70m (-0.4m/s)
3. Chris Carter (USA) 16.52m (0.0m/s)
4. Chris Benard (USA) 16.39m (0.0m/s)
5. Tosin Oke (Nigeria) 16.30m (-0.2m/s)
6. Alexis Copello (Cuba) 16.29m (-0.3m/s)
7. Omar Craddock (USA) 16.29m (-0.4m/s)
8. Pablo Torrijos (Spain) 15.75m (0.0m/s)