Taylor vs. Claye: The Triple Jump Showdown at Prefontaine Classic

The Loaded Field Set to Ignite the Triple Jump Rivalry at the Prefontaine Classic

Eugene, May 25-26, 2018 – The 44th edition of the prestigious Prefontaine Classic, part of the 2018 IAAF Diamond League, will witness a highly anticipated showdown in the men’s triple jump event. Christian Taylor and Will Claye, two of the sport’s biggest stars, are poised to headline the competition, bringing with them a remarkable combined tally of seven major gold medals.

Taylor and Claye’s rivalry has captivated fans for nearly a decade, ever since they were college freshmen in 2009. Their fierce battle for supremacy in the triple jump has produced countless thrilling competitions, with the duo combining for seven lead changes and eight world-leading marks over the last two editions of the Prefontaine Classic alone.

At 27 years old, Christian Taylor is undoubtedly one of the biggest attractions in the Diamond League circuit, having amassed six series trophies to his name – the second-most among all athletes. His jump of 18.21m has cemented his legacy as one of the greatest triple jumpers of all time, trailing only the legendary Victor Saneyev’s two Olympic gold medals and the world record of 18.29m set by Jonathan Edwards in 1995, when Taylor was just 5 years old.

Will Claye, 26, is no less a force to be reckoned with. The reigning world indoor champion added another global title to his impressive resume last month, having previously won the indoor crown in 2012. Claye’s Olympic success is equally noteworthy, as he became the first man since 1936 to win medals in both the triple jump and long jump at the same Games, claiming silver and bronze, respectively, in London 2012.

The pair’s head-to-head record stands at a razor-thin 22-21 in Taylor’s favor, but Claye has undoubtedly been a key part of the two best triple jump performances in Prefontaine Classic history. In 2016, Claye took the lead in the final round with a leap of 17.56m, only to be overtaken by Taylor’s 17.76m, which broke the Hayward Field record set by Claye two years prior. Last year, both athletes soared over 59 feet (17.98m), with Claye’s wind-assisted 18.05m falling just short of Taylor’s 18.11m, the best ever achieved on American soil.

Joining Taylor and Claye in the stacked field are a host of other world-class talents, including Portugal’s Nelson Évora, the 2007 and 2008 world and Olympic champion, China’s Bin Dong, the 2016 world indoor titlist, and Germany’s Max Hess, the 2016 world indoor silver medalist. This promises to be a can’t-miss event for any true Jumping enthusiast.

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