USA’s Taylor eyes hurdling treble


American Angelo Taylor said he was confident he could achieve something beyond even legendary compatriot and two-time champion Ed Moses and win a third Olympic gold medal in the 400m hurdles.
The 33-year-old — Olympic champion in 2000 and 2008 — won his heat on Friday but came into the Games as an outside bet for the title behind world leader Javier Culson of Puerto Rico and British world champion Dai Greene. However, Taylor said the form book meant little at an Olympics and he was in shape to realise his dream.
“Most definitely I can win a third gold medal,” said Taylor, who also won Olympic 4x400m relay gold in 2008. “That’s why I’m here. I started planning for this as soon as I crossed the line in Beijing. “There is something very special about the Olympics and it always seems to bring the best out of me,” added Taylor, who has never shone at the world championships, reaching the 400m hurdles’ final just once in four attempts. Taylor admitted he hadn’t been feeling too sharp when he was preparing to enter the London Olympic Stadium for his heat, but that had soon changed. “I was feeling a tad lethargic, but once I heard the roar of the crowd and saw how packed the stadium was, I got goosebumps and I sure woke up. “I’m not used to normally running in front of so many people that early in the morning, even at other championships, so it was a pleasant surprise.”
Moses won the Olympic 400m hurdles at both the 1976 and 1984 Olympics, as well as a bronze medal in 1988, but missed out in 1980 because of the US boycott of the Moscow Games. Meanwhile Culson, bidding to give Puerto Rico their first ever gold medal since their Games debut in 1948 and first of any colour outside of the six they’ve won in boxing, ran the fastest time of the heats in 48.33sec. Taylor’s team-mate Kerron Clement finished second behind Culsom, posting the second quickest time of 48.48sec, and the Trinidad-born naturalised American said he was determined to turn the Olympic silver of four years ago into gold this time round. Clement added he had used the huge roars from the crowd for the British runner in the heat, Rhys Williams, to his advantage. “I just pretended they were cheering for me!” said the 26-year-old, a two-time world champion. Greene, like Taylor and Culsom, won his heat and said that, as British athletics team captain, it had been important for him to post a victory. “As captain, I wanted to set the tempo on the first morning and win my heat straight out,” said the Welshman, bidding to complete a full set of major titles to add to his world, European and Commonwealth crowns.