(Reuters) – Four years ago, Jonathan Edwards’ triple jump world record seemed sure to go. American Christian Taylor had just come within eight centimetres of the Briton’s 1995 mark of 18.29 metres.
But the record has yet to fall and seldom is breaking it mentioned these days, even by Olympic and world champion Taylor.
“I try not to speak about it is because at some point I felt that it was consuming me,” the gold medallist told Reuters.
“Every time I competed the only thing I cared about was this world record.
“Whether someone was beating me I had no idea, because all I was focusing on was this world record.
“I tried so hard to chase it and dial everything in and break down the jump and jump like him or add my twist, and it didn’t happen.”
Eventually something had to give.
“It’s insanity to continue doing something over and other and expecting something different,” Taylor said.
So the American, who has four of the 10 longest triple jumps ever and ranks second to compatriot Will Claye’s leap of 18.14m on the 2019 list, has decided to take a new approach.
“I’m going to compete my heart out, and if the stars are aligned that magic number will come,” he said.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina, editing by Ed Osmond)