MOSCOW, Russia - A solid start in his first IAAF World Championships appearance was cruelley cut short today for Jeremy Taiwo in the decathlon, as a knee problem forced him to withdraw after three events. Taiwo, wearing the full red of Team USA, had set a PR in the long jump on his first attempt, but then on his second attempt, he aggravated a knee issue he first experienced at Pac-12s in May.
Brad Walker also returned to the Worlds stage earlier today in Moscow, and kept his qualifying outing short and sweet. The five-time U.S. Champion and two-time NCAA Champion from his Husky days passed all the way up to 18-2 1/2 before entering the competition. Walker then vaulted over that bar on one attempt, and was done for the day. That clearance was enough, as 13 vaulters moved on to the finals out of the initial field of 40. The finals will take place Monday night in Moscow.
Taiwo's day had started with a solid 100-meter dash time of 10.96 seconds. He then went on to the long jump and posted a career-best 24-8 1/2 on his first try. But his second jump caused problems, and Taiwo would pass his third attempt. He would go on and compete in the shot put, with a best of 42-7 1/2. But warming up for the high jump, typically one of his best events, Taiwo could tell the knee would be too much to overcome.
"My knee started bothering me to inside of my left knee during the long jump, so then I rested and didn’t take my last jump," said Taiwo. "After the break I came back to the high jump and when I took my first practice jump, I didn’t even get off the ground. I just felt like I didn’t have anything in my leg.
"Walking over to my coach (Husky volunteer assistant Atanas Atanassov) I realized that it hurt really badly on the outside of my knee and it was really unstable. I tried to jog on it and it kept giving out and the pain got worse. So I went in to the medical staff and that’s all."