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Olympic Champion Christian Taylor named USATF Athlete of the Week

5/20/2015
 
INDIANAPOLIS -- Olympic gold medalist Christian Taylor is USATF’s Athlete of the Week after his exceptional performance at the Doha Diamond League meeting on Friday, May 15 in Doha, Qatar.
 
Taylor (Fayetteville, Georgia) took second in the triple jump with a new personal best of 18.04m/59-2.25, bettering the 17.96m/58-11.25 he set en route to his first World title in Daegu in 2011. His performance goes down as the second-best mark in American history.
 
“When I saw the measurement come up on the board,” Taylor said, “I was in complete shock. I didn’t know if I should jump around, cry, scream, hug someone. I always visualized me going 18 meters, but not in this fashion.”
 
Taylor and Pedro Pablo Pichardo (Cuba) are the first athletes to jump over 18 meters in the same competition in track & field history. Taylor’s best mark came from his last jump, which was also the last attempt of the event.
 
“I love the last attempt,” continued Taylor. “It is my chance to dig deep and just leave it all out on the track. It also gives the spectators something to look forward to. Literally the big finale. So I knew that if I was going to win this competition, I would have to jump further than I ever had before. But I am always up for a challenge and do not like to put barriers on my abilities. Then I said a prayer and took off.”
 
Next, Taylor will travel to Ostrava, Czech Republic for the IAAF World Challenge.
 
“[Ostrava] is a special place for me, as it was where I had my first international experience and win at the IAAF World Youth Championships in 2006. So I am hoping that maybe the good fortune is still hanging around and will push me to further distances.”
 
Other notable performances this week include:
 
  • Jasmin Stowers (Pendleton, South Carolina) won the Doha Diamond League 100-meter hurdles in a world-leading 12.35, a new PR and the third-fastest time ever by an American. Stowers defeated a field that included Tiffany Porter, Sally Pearson and compatriots Queen Harrison, Kristi Castlin, and Dawn Harper-Nelson.
  • Sandi Morris (Greenville, South Carolina), a senior at Arkansas, set a new collegiate record in the pole vault with her leap of 4.72m/15-5.75 at the 2015 SEC Outdoor Championships.
  • Justin Gatlin (Clermont, Florida) took the top spot in the 100m with his time of 9.74 at the Doha Diamond League meeting. It is the third-fastest U.S. time ever and Gatlin bested a field that included Mike Rodgers and Nesta Carter.
  • Heather Kampf (Minneapolis, Minnesota) defended her title at the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships, winning in 4:45.4 in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. This was her third USATF 1 Mile Road title.
 
Now in its 14th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on www.usatf.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
 
2015 Winners: January 15, Chris Derrick; January 21, Demi Payne; January 28, Casimir Loxsom; February 4, Anselm LeBourne; February 11, Jenny Simpson; February 18, Brycen Spratling; February 25, Maksim Korolev; March 4, Shannon Rowbury; March 11, Mary Norckauer; March 18, Daloria Boone; March 25, Irene Obera; April 2, Michael Stigler; April 8, Allen Woodard; April 15, Joe Kovacs; April 22, Vashti Cunningham; April 29, Jasmin Stowers; May 6, Sanya Richards-Ross; May 13, Bernard Lagat; May 20, Christian Taylor.
 
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About USATF
USA Track & Field is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit http://www.usatf.org/.
 
We welcome your nominations!
To nominate an athlete for Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about their performance to Communications@usatf.org.



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