Christian Taylor: Overcoming a Major Hurdle in the World of Triple Jump

World and Olympic Triple Jump Champion Christian Taylor Overcomes Major Hurdle in Career

Christian Taylor, the renowned American triple jump athlete, has faced and conquered a significant challenge in his illustrious career. The three-time world champion in the event recently shared his story of how he successfully navigated a pivotal technical change that proved to be his greatest obstacle.

Taylor, who claimed his third world title in the triple jump at the 2017 World Championships in London, revealed that switching his take-off from his left leg to his right leg was a massive undertaking. The athlete, who has long battled persistent knee issues, explained that this decision was necessary to address the challenges posed by the increased joint stress caused by the triple jump.

“For me, the greatest challenge of my career was switching from jumping from my left leg to my right,” Taylor said. “My knee is not smooth and round like most people; it is quite sharp and this causes a lot of crunching and irritation in the cartilage. Since puberty I have had knee problems – an issue which has become much worse by increasing those forces on the knee 15-fold by triple jumping.”

The transition was not an easy one, as Taylor had to completely relearn the timing and weight distribution of his new approach. He described the process as stripping everything back to basics and taking baby steps, starting with standing triple jumps and gradually working his way up to full-approach attempts.

“It wasn’t easy and one of the toughest parts was dealing with the media. I was losing every week and they kept saying, ‘Can Christian return?'” Taylor recalled. “I reckon it took eight solid months to consider myself a triple jumper off the right foot.”

However, Taylor’s persistence and dedication paid off. In 2014, he jumped 17.51 meters to win in Zurich, a moment that marked a significant turning point in his career. The following year, he soared beyond 18 meters on three occasions, including a mighty 18.21-meter effort – the second-longest jump in history – to win the world title in Beijing.

Taylor’s inspiring story of overcoming a major technical challenge and emerging stronger for it is a testament to his unwavering determination and resilience as one of the world’s premier triple jump athletes.

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