Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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CHRISTIAN TAYLOR TRIPLE JUMP WORLD CHAMPION 2011 (JULY 2012)

Christian Taylor (Born 18th of June, 1990 at Fayetteville, Georgia. His parents were Barbadian)
He was educated at Sandy Creek High School and the University of Florida. He first really came to World prominence in 2007 when he won the World Youth Triple Jump title with 15.98 at Ostrava.
   His wind assisted jump of 17.80m was enough to secure a second consecutive NCAA title in 2011.
   I talked to Christian a really 'Great' personality, at the Croydon Hotel on the 12th of July 2012. Christian Taylor  went on the following day to win the triple jump at the Grand Prix at Crystal Palace with 17.41 from Leevan Sands, who was 3rd in the Olympics in China. Sands of Bahamas tripled 16.97 for second place and Osin Oke of Woodford Green & Essex Ladies was third with 16.93.
    It appears your marks and times have been impressive since you were young. What made you turn to the triple jump as your main event?
   "I think it was just by luck. I did the long jump. I  have always been very good at jumping. My best  is 8.19. Triple jump is 17.96.'
  You won the World Championships last year but what other competition in particular has meant a lot to you?
   "Besides the World's, maybe here (Crystal Palace) last year and I won. That was when I knew. I jumped 17.62 here and beat Phillips and, I knew he was going to be the top competition so mentally it gave me that boost of confidence that I needed to go to the World Championships so, this was the biggest and most important meet I had,.maybe in my life because the World Championships was my biggest event. So, coming here and competing here and the crowd supporting me the way they did and getting that ' Big' jump in was very big for me."
   I have interviewed, Al Joyner, Hoffman, Mike Conley, Willie Banks and Jonathon Edwards. Have any of those inspired  you at all
 " Those names you mentioned Willie Banks and Al Joyner. Mike Conley--People say I jump like Mike Conley. These are people I have studied all my life. I want to be the best, not just the American Champion but the best triple jumper of all time.So you watch people like Jonathan Edwards, Mike Conley and Kenny Harrison (Atlanta Gold in '96).
There are plenty of guys I study. To say there is one particular one I don't Know, because I have so much respect for the sport and  my event.'
What sort of training has helped you
    " Just running . I have run a lot. The 400 (45.34) the 200 (20.76); --so I am a descent runner. The faster you run the further you jump. that is what it comes down to. I think having that running base. That mental toughness. I think that has really helped with my jumps.
   Last year ( 2011) was the World Championships and the first three were 1 Christian Taylor (USA) 17.96; 2 Phillips Idowu (GB) 17.77; 3 Will Claye (USA) 17.53. How did you feel at the finish of that
  'Absolutely speechless.' My coach Rana Reider had told me for a long time,even before we came here, he said that he knew by the base of my training that I was doing it would be a good year for me.It is different for me to see it but a lot of time coaches can see, with the development that they work with.He has coached Walter Davis (World Outdoor TJ Champion 2005 and Indoor 2006).He has worked with high calibre athletes so he knows what it takes to get to that level. For him to say that it gave me that little nip on my shoulder that maybe I could do it but to actually get it done is something I can't describe. '
   The American Olympic Trials this year that you won. Were they a bit edgy?  
   " No I had two jumps. First in the qualifying round I jumped  17.27 and that gave me an automatic mark then I jumped 17.63 in the Final and it won.You have to be top three. I just  wanted to do a big mark and show people that I am ready."
  "You love athletics. It is a passion for you"
  " Yes, I study. I watch every meet that I can.I read articles. This is my life. To be in it and also see some people I grew up watching..I am getting autographs. People think it is a joke and say ' We compete with you! It is special to me because I am such a fan of the sport.'
  There is a lot of hard training to get there
" Yes there is a lot of sweat and tears but that is like anything in life. Not just athletics. You have to put in the work if your are trying to get the results."
  What do you do at University?
   " I actually study Hospitality and Tourism.The hotel industry the Cruise industry. I have  travelled a lot. My Dad worked for DELTA so I have flown all my life. My Aunt lives here in South London.I will probably spend a few days with her. Try and get away from the hotel.Here it is all about track and when go over there it is family.You eat good.You can't beat home cooked meals.'
   The Olympics are important but people in general forget, unless they are really interested in the sport, that there are a lot of events in the year and interesting things to do in athletics'
  ' People think it is just the Olympics and that is it.What do you guys do for the next four years or before the four years.!.!!
 Not a lot of money in athletics except for one person on the World Sports rich list!.
 Nobody except the pure athletics fan are interested in athletics after the Olympic Games!
' Unless they are passionate about it and understand the sport and the work that has been put into it and understand where it came from for a long time. You have seen it grow up , seen the changes and where it started.'
'I am a student and such a fan.I respect the people who have laid it down before.'
 You travel a lot
'    ' With my job now I get to see the World. I am actually based in Salzburg, Austria now. It is my first time being there. To see the mountains and the way people live there. It is just a different culture. It is the opportunity to meet new people to see where they come from and where they are  going and learn about their cultures .
             
                             RANA REIDER coach to Christian Taylor.
   What do you think are the qualities of your man Christian Taylor as a  performer mentally?
" Mentally he is a '10 out of a 10' Focused. There are no distractions where ever we are at.Everything is set for the 'Big' Championships and that is how he rehearses every day.'
It must give you pleasure to coach him
'    'He is a lot of fun to coach.'
' My group I coach back home is 14 and at the Olympic we have six.' (Includes a UK and Norwegian athlete)
'We have a professional group.'
 When did you start in athletics?
      . My oldest brother ran track.I was nine when I started. I was often injured but I did OK--I jumped 16.34 in the triple jump and 100m was like 10.57.

Alastair Aitken

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