'Stars align' for American Taylor to claim second Olympic gold

Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:12pm EDT
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By Jack Stubbs

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Christian Taylor of the United States retained his Olympic men's triple jump title on Tuesday, recording the longest jump of the year to claim the podium top spot.

Taylor, the defending Olympic and world champion, made his mark of 17.86 meters with his first jump, staking a claim for the gold medal that his rivals were unable to match.

His American team mate Will Claye took silver and China's Dong Bin went home with bronze after they recorded 17.76 and 17.58 respectively, also at their first attempts.

"The job is done," Taylor told reporters. "I never thought on my first jump that would be the gold medal.

"I wanted it so much. It came together, the stars aligned."

In what soon developed into a predictable tussle for silver and gold from within the U.S. team, the rest of the field in Rio fell behind to join the spectators watching Taylor and Claye re-enact their Olympic duel from London four years ago.

"It's just who executes better on that day. We're equally talented," Claye said. "We're all beatable. I just have to come back and get my win next time."

A notable absentee was world silver medalist Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Cuba, who would have been a challenger for the gold having posted several marks at 18 meters and further in 2015.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Final - Men's Triple Jump Final - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 16/08/2016. Christian Taylor (USA) of USA competes.      REUTERS/Dylan Martinez