Hop, skip, jump, win: Sandy Creek athlete takes gold

Christian Taylor wins Olympic triple jump

LONDON — Christian Taylor won the Olympic triple jump gold medal Thursday night, overtaking U.S. teammate Will Claye with his fourth jump in the final.

Taylor, who attended Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, continued his season-leading form with a best jump of 17.81 meters (58 feet, 5 1/4 inches). Claye won the silver medal with a jump of 17.62 meters; Italy’s Fabrizio Donato, the 35-year-old European champion, took the bronze.

Taylor is the world champion outdoors and Claye has the world indoor title, and together they’re looking to break the world record of 18.29 meters set by Britain’s Jonathan Edwards in 1995.

“Will and I ... It’s special to share it with him,” Taylor said. “We’re getting people to talk about the triple jump again. That’s a goal of ours.

“I definitely think the world record could come down this year,” he said.

Leevan Sands of the Bahamas injured his right leg during the final and had to be carried from the pit on a stretcher after fouling on his fourth attempt, delaying the finish. He still posted a mark good enough for fifth place.

At Sandy Creek High School, Taylor was the Georgia record holder in the long jump (25-6), triple jump (52-0) and 400 meters (47.19). He was also selected the 2008 Gatorade Athlete of the Year for the state of Georgia.

Information from The Associated Press, USA Track & Field and staff research was used in this article.