The Olympic champion hopes to complete a treble of world triple jump titles when he returns to the UK capital
Christian Taylor is looking for his third world title this summer and thinks London is a great place to have the event.
“I expect London 2017 to be very similar to the 2012 Olympics,” the American says, looking ahead to August’s IAAF World Championships. “I have also competed in the Diamond League in London, as well as the Olympics and there is always a fantastic crowd.
“The energy will be quite different from – and better than – some of the other championships; the crowd in London is always very knowledgeable about athletics.
“So the athletes will feel a lot more alive with the crowd really getting into it. The only uncertainty is the weather.”
He adds: “When I went to Moscow in 2013 it felt very foreign – Russia was a place I had never really thought of going to, so I felt quite out of my comfort zone.
“In contrast, I have been to London many, many times – it is like a comfort blanket. I even have family there and all that will play a big part in my competition.”
With two Olympic titles and two world championship gold medals in his locker, does he find it hard to stay motivated?
“I still have the world record as a goal,” he says, referring to Jonathan Edwards’ long-standing mark. “I am second on the all-time list but second can be a very frustrating place.
“I am 9cm off the record and need to keep the hunger and the drive because until I get the number one spot, my job is not done. I am looking for a jump of 18.40m and hoping that this is the year.”
In terms of his preparation for the World Championships, Taylor is disappointed that the Diamond League programme in 2017 has only four triple jump events, two less than usual. He will compete in all four but will still need to look for other meets to sharpen his competitive edge this year.
But as he points out, he and his coach, Rana Reider, have a good record in getting him ready for the big ones: “I think since Daegu 2011 my best performance of the year has always been in the championship.
“It’s always my focus and the way we train to produce our best performances towards the end of the season.”
» The 2017 World Para Athletics Championships from July 14-23 and the IAAF World Championships from August 4-13 will bring together 3000 athletes from more than 200 countries. It will be the first time the two events will be hosted by the same city in the same summer. See paraathleticschampionships.com and iaafworldchampionships.com