LONDON — Christian Taylor won the Olympic triple jump gold medal Thursday night, overtaking US teammate Will Claye with his fourth jump in the final.
Taylor continued his season-leading form with a best jump of 17.81 meters (58 feet, 5¼ inches) 19 centimeters clear of second-place Claye (17.62). Italy’s Fabrizio Donato, the 35-year-old European champion, took bronze at 17.48.
Taylor is the world champion outdoors and Claye has the world indoor title, and together they’re looking to break the world record of 18.29 meters set by Britain’s Jonathan Edwards in 1995.
“Will and I . . . It’s special to share it with him,” Taylor said. “We’re getting people to talk about the triple jump again. That’s a goal of ours.
“I definitely think the world record could come down this year, but we’re taking it one day at a time.”
Leevan Sands of the Bahamas injured his right leg during the final and had to be carried from the pit on a stretcher after fouling on his fourth attempt, delaying the finish. He still posted a mark good enough to earn fifth place.
“It was sad to see that happen,” Claye said. “You hope he’s going to come back even stronger. I know he’s not done yet. It hit me when it happened. They kept showing it on the replay and his knee didn’t look the best.”
Rudisha sets mark
On a night dominated by Usain Bolt, David Rudisha was determined to get a piece of the spotlight. The 23-year-old Kenyan ended up going one better.
He did what no one else, Bolt included, could: set a world record on the London Olympic track.
Rudisha had told his rivals in the 800 meters to be ready for a world record, and he delivered on his word, winning in 1 minute, 40.91 seconds, one-10th of a second faster than the mark he set in 2010.
After crossing the finish, he flung up both arms to celebrate, then draped himself in a Kenyan flag and posed for photographs near the timing clock with ‘‘NEW WR’’ on it. He has been the dominant 800-meter runner for the last three years, setting the world record three times and losing just once since 2009.
‘‘It’s something special to break the world record at the Olympics,’’ Rudisha said.
Nigel Amos, 18, took silver in a world junior record time of 1:41.73 to give Botswana its first Olympic medal, and Timothy Kitum of Kenya got the bronze in 1:42.53.
No stopping Mitchell
Manteo Mitchell felt the pop in his leg and knew it wasn’t good. ‘‘It felt like somebody literally just snapped my leg in half,’’ he said.
The American sprinter had half a lap to go in the first leg of the 4 x 400-meter relay preliminaries and a choice to make: keep running or stop and lose the race. To him, it was never much of a choice.
He finished the lap and limped to the side to watch the Americans finish the race and qualify easily for the final. A few hours later, doctors confirmed what he suspected: He had run the last 200 meters with a broken left fibula.
The 25-year-old sprinter from Cullowhee, N.C., said he was diagnosed with a complete break of the left fibula . The bone is expected to heal on its own in 4-6 weeks.
Mitchell said he slipped on the stairs a few days ago but didn’t think much of it. Training went well, and he said he was feeling great Thursday when he looked at the clock while approaching the 200-meter mark. “But probably at 201 meters, I heard it and I felt it,’’ he said.
‘‘I pretty much figured it was broken, because every step I took, it got more painful. But I was out there already. I just wanted to finish and do what I was called in to do.’’
Jeremy Wariner will also miss the 4 x 400 relay final for the US. He has a torn left hamstring.
South Africa’s 4 x 400 relay team, which features double amputee Oscar Pistorius, was awarded an extra spot in the final following a successful protest. In the opening round Thursday, a Kenyan runner collided with South Africa’s Ofentse Mogawane as he made his way around the final bend. Mogawane, running the second section of the relay, fell to the ground. Upon review, the IAAF disqualified Kenya.