Athletics: Taylor eyes double in triple after radical switch
By Mitch Phillips
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - When you have become the world and Olympic champion in triple jump, arguably the most technically challenging of all athletics events, it seems a radical move to change your take-off leg, but for American Christian Taylor the switch is paying dividends.
Taylor won the world tile in South Korea in 2011, added the indoor world title in 2012 and completed a dream year when he triumphed at the London Olympics.
However, although he was still only 22, the relentless pounding had already taken its toll on his body, particularly his left knee, and he decided to take the risk of switching.
Now he lines up as favorite to retain his title, jumping further than ever, after going back to the drawing board.
"I was having a lot of patella issues with left knee," he told reporters on Wednesday. "It got to where I was focusing on coming out of competitions healthy instead of trying to strive for a world record."
So Taylor decided to switch things round, and of course initially had to go backwards to go forwards.
"It was far from easy. The biggest thing was the timing, so it was repetition, repetition," he said.
"It's a lot co-ordination. Timing and muscle development goes into it and in the 2013 world championships I didn't make the podium." Continued...