With only 13 men in the qualification round of the men’s Triple Jump it was just a matter of finishing among the top eight to win a chance of taking part in tomorrow’s final.
It was an easy morning for World outdoor champion Christian Taylor whose opening round effort was measured at 17.39 well beyond the 17.00 automatic qualification standard.
It was also a new indoor best for the athlete who snatched the gold medal in Daegu last summer jumping 17.96 to become the fifth best performer of all-time outdoors.
Taylor now has to make his marks indoors and judging from this morning’s sole attempt the 21-year-old is well positioned to become the third American ever to win this title after Mike Conley (87-89) and Walter Davis (2006).
In the final, Taylor will have the added motivation of competing alongside compatriot Will Claye who jumped a personal best 17.63 to defeat him at the National Indoor Championships in Albuquerque a couple of weeks ago.
Unlike Taylor, Claye needed 2 attempts to go beyond 17 metres and he did that by just one centimetre.
Two other men went beyond 17 metres this morning in the likes of former European Indoor champion Fabrizio Donato, the Italian landing at 17.07 in his first round and Lyukman Adams of Russia (17.04, third attempt).
The major casualty of the morning was Cuba’s David Girat, twice a World Indoor medallist, who could only manage 16.71 with his second attempt for ninth overall ten centimetres off France's Benjamin Compaoré who took the final qualifying spot at 16.81.
In Doha two years ago, the men’s Triple Jump was the last event on the programme and the crowd was treated to a superb 17.90 World Indoor record last round jump by Teddy Tamgho. The Frenchman improved his own record by 2 centimetres winning the European Indoor Championships in Paris last winter, before breaking his ankle in the early summer.
With Taylor’s outdoor personal best being superior and Daegu bronze medallist Claye again pushing the American duo, it is not unlikely that we be treated yet again to another stunning performance.
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF