Six-time triple jump Diamond League Champion, Christian Taylor will compete in one of his less-favoured disciplines, the 400m at the Shanghai Diamond League on Saturday writes Javier Yap.
The starting line-up on Saturday night at 7.35pm (GMT/UTC+8) will feature other world-class athletes such as Doha Diamond League winner Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas and last month’s Commonwealth Games champion, Isaac Makwala of Botswana.
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Although the 27 year old’s personal best of 45.17 seconds in 2014 is the slowest amongst the starting nine, his season’s best of 45.44s is right up there with the other sprinters in the field. The two-time Olympic and three-time World Champion believes that he can break the 45 second barrier and with a strong starting line-up to set the bar high, he could very well achieve this.
Many athletics fans around the world will be eagerly awaiting to see how Christian Taylor performs in the highly anticipated 400m race.
Despite the American set to compete in the 400m, his long term focus is the triple jump where he aims to set a world record by the end of his career. British, Jonathan Edwards has held the record of 18.29m for over two decades. Taylor’s closest jump to this was at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing where he took off 11.5cm behind the board which saw him fall 8cm short of the record.
Taylor is one Diamond League trophy away from equalling Renaud Lavillenie’s record of seven. With the American having already entered two disciplines in this Diamond League season, there is a chance that he could surpass the Frenchman’s record, should he qualify and win both the triple jump and 400m events at the Diamond League finals and if Lavillenie fails to be crowned champion.
Having set a new Diamond League meeting record in Eugene, Oregon for the triple jump event last year, Taylor is set to appear at the same venue a fortnight after the Shanghai meet where he has great cause for optimism in delivering a fine performance on home soil.