ATHLETICS Panorama: Will Claye explodes in Long Beach for 59-6 1/4 win in triple jump!

Now no. 3 of all time: American triple jump star Will Claye!

Former Florida star Will Claye has been one of the world’s best jumpers for more than a decade, but has been overshadowed by his former Gator teammate Christian Taylor, the two-time Olympic champion in the triple jump.

Are those days over?

Before Saturday’s Jim Bush Track & Field Championships – the district meet for the Southern Pacific Association of USA Track & Field – Claye stood no. 10 on the all-time list at 17.91 m (58-9 1/4) from 2017. Not any more.

He fouled on his first jump, then exploded to reach 18.14 m – 59-6 1/4 – with just a slight aiding wind of 0.4 m/s. He fouled his other jumps, but who cared? His one fair jump moved him to no. 3 on the all-time list, behind only world-record holder Jonathan Edwards (GBR: 18.29 m/60-0 1/4 ‘95) and Taylor’s 18.21 m (59-9) World Championships winner from 2015.

And that was only one of two terrific marks for Claye on Saturday, jumping at the Jack Rose Track at Long Beach State. He also won the long jump with a wind-aided 8.21 m (26-11 1/4; +3.6 m/s).

There were other quality marks at this meet, including four-time World Champion Brittney Reese roaring to 6.95 m (22-9 3/4) in the long jump, second in the world for 2019, plus Brianna McNeal beating Queen Harrison, 12.71-12.76 in the 100 m hurdles, and McNeal winning the 100 m in 11.20.

In a small meet in Bottnaryd (SWE), discus star Daniel Stahl reached 71.86 m (235-9) for another Swedish national record and now stands equal-fourth all-time. It’s his second meet this season beyond 70 m (229-8) and he has assured everyone there is more coming!

In the IAAF Combined Events Challenge meet in Ratingen (GER) – the 23rd Stadtwerke Ratingen Mehrkampf-meeting – home favorite Kai Kazmirek won the decathlon and earned a place at the World Championships with 8,444 points, his best score in two years.

Just behind was France’s Basile Rolnin, who claimed a lifetime best at 8,205.

Austria’s Verena Preiner won the women’s heptathlon with not only a lifetime best, but a national record of 6,591, moving to no. 4 on the world list for 2019. She was on fire from the start, putting up personal bests in the 100 m hurdles (13.42), high jump (1.80 m/5-10 3/4), 200 m (23.96), javelin (49.58 m/162-8) and 800 m (2:07.74) on her way to the victory. Austria went 1-2 with Ivona Dadic scoring 6,461 for second, her second-best score ever. Summaries:

IAAF Combined Events Challenge
Ratingen (GER) ~ 29-30 June 2019
(Full results here)

Men/Decathlon: 1. Kai Kazmirek (GER), 8,444; 2. Basile Rolnin (FRA), 8,205; 3. Fredreich Pretorius (RSA), 7,872; 4. Dennis Hutterer (GER), 7,653; 5. Fynn Zenker (GER), 7,536.

Women/Heptathlon: 1. Verena Preiner (AUT), 6,591; 2. Ivona Dadic (AUT), 6,461; 3. Nadine Broersen (NED), 6,232; 4. Anna Maiwald (GER), 6,174; 5. Mareike Arndt (GER), 5,705.