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Taylor and Claye battle in best triple jump on American soil at Nike Prefontaine Classic

5/27/2017
 

EUGENE, Oregon -- 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold and silver medalists Christian Taylor and Will Claye took to the triple jump runway once again to put on a show for the Hayward Field faithful Saturday at the Nike Prefontaine Classic. The duo registered two of the greatest jumps in track & field history and led an impressive weekend that saw four Hayward Field and Nike Prefontaine Classic records broken.

 

Taylor opened up with a wind-aided 7.82m/58-5.75 and held that advantage until the fourth round, where Claye matched Taylor’s best jump, albeit wind legal, and briefly moved ahead of the two-time Olympic champion. Claye’s second-best mark of 17.66m/57-11.25 edged Taylor’s second best of 17.54m/57-6.50 from the third round. Claye didn’t hold the advantage for long, however, as Taylor unleashed a wind-legal jump of 18.11m/59-5 to set a new world lead, meet record, stadium record, Diamond League record and a mark that goes down as the fourth-best jump in track & field history.

 

Claye had a bit more left in the tank and launched himself a windy 18.05m/59-2.75 to make the three-time Olympic medalist the seventh-best all-conditions performer in track & field history and his wind-legal 17.82m/58-5.75 from round 4 is a new personal best, but those were not enough to hold off Taylor from winning his 22nd Diamond League meeting title.

 

Taylor remains the second-best triple jumper in track & field history behind world record holder Jonathan Edwards. For his efforts in winning his third Nike Prefontaine Classic triple jump crown, Taylor was named the Maria Mutola Athlete of the Meet.

 

Bowie blazes past women’s 200m field in statement victory

Tori Bowie proved to the world that she is one of the best sprinters in the world, clocking the fastest-ever time before the month of June and upsetting Olympic champion Elaine Thompson of Jamaica. Bowie, the anchor leg on the U.S. women’s 4x100m relay and the Olympic 100m silver medalist and 200m bronze medalist in Rio, beat her personal best by .22 to win in 21.77, a new Diamond League record, Pre Classic record and Hayward Field best. Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo was second in 21.91 and Thompson crossed third in 21.98. It was the first time in track & field history that three women have gone sub-22 outside of a major championship meet.

 

Crouser sets shot put meet record in showdown with Walsh and Kovacs

Rio Olympic champion Ryan Crouser was unstoppable in the men’s shot put Saturday, turning in the second-best throw of 2017 with his fifth-round best of 22.43m/73-7.25. Crouser had the three best throws of the day Saturday with those three being his only legal throws of the day for the 24-year-old, who set both the meet record and Hayward Field records with his late round toss. New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh held strong in the second-place spot with his first round throw of 21.71m/71-2.75 and world leader and reigning USATF Athlete of the Week Joe Kovacs was third with his second-round throw of 21.44m/70-4.25.

 

Spencer runs personal best to beat brilliant women’s 400m hurdles field

Olympic bronze medalist Ashley Spencer shifted into another gear Saturday to win the women’s 400m hurdles. Returning to the track where she made her first U.S. Olympic Team, Spencer stormed past 2015 World Championships silver medalist Shamier Little over the final 100m to take home the 400m hurdles in 53.38, a personal best and the fastest time in the world this year. Little finished just behind in 53.44 and 2012 Olympian Georganne Moline was third in 54.09. Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad was fifth in her first 400m hurdles race of the year.

 

Akinosun and Baker shut down stacked 100m lineups

Young stars Morolake Akinosun and Ronnie Baker led the way in the short sprints Saturday, with Akinosun walking down a loaded field that included sprint stalwarts Veronica Campbell-Brown, Michelle Lee-Ahye and fellow Olympic 4x100m relay gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta. Akinosun stormed down the track to surpass Murielle Ahoure and Ahye to finish in a barely wind-aided 10.94.

 

On the men’s side, Baker continued his winning ways, turning in his third sub-10 time of the season. Baker, who ran on Team USA’s 4x100m gold medal relay at the IAAF World Relays, was unstoppable Saturday, finishing in a wind-aided 9.86 to shut down a field that included teammates Justin Gatlin (5th - 9.97) and Mike Rodgers (6th - 9.98) and Olympic bronze medalist Andre De Grasse of Canada, who finished fourth in 9.96. Baker led six men under 10 seconds.

 

Kendricks soars past Lavillenie, Braz and Duplantis

Rio bronze medalist and IAAF World Indoor silver medalist Sam Kendricks won the men’s pole vault against a field that included Olympic champion Thiago Braz of Brazil, world-record holder and 2012 Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie of France and Swedish teenage phenom Armand Duplantis. Kendricks cleared 5.86m/19-2.75 for his fifth career Diamond League victory.

 

Other USATF athletes claiming victories Saturday included LaShawn Merritt in the men’s 400m (44.79) and Jasmin Stowers in the women’s 100m hurdles (12.59).

 

Next action for USATF athletes is the adidas Boston Boost Games on Friday and Sunday, June 2 and 4. The 2017 adidas Boost Boston Games will be broadcast live from Boston on Friday, June 2 and Sunday, June 4 via NBC Sports Gold and NBC Sports Network [Sunday only] for viewers in the U.S. A subscription for NBC Sports Gold will be required to watch the broadcast. Viewers outside of the USA will be able to watch on AthleticsCanada.tv with a +PLUS account.

 

Fans can follow along with #USATF on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

 

 

Amanda Brooks
Marketing and Communications Manager
USA Track & Field
317.713.4690
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