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    DAEGU, South Korea – The United States couldn’t ask for a better jumping off point for the London Olympics than the IAAF World Championships, which ended Sunday.

    • By David J. Phillip, AP

      American Christian Taylor competes in the men’s triple jump final at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, on Sunday. Taylor won gold in his first trips to worlds.

    By David J. Phillip, AP

    American Christian Taylor competes in the men’s triple jump final at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, on Sunday. Taylor won gold in his first trips to worlds.

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    Team USA won gold medals in the men’s and women’s long jumps, the men’s high jump and the men’s triple jump, plus a bronze in the triple jump for good measure. It was the most dominant jumping performance by a U.S. team since the 1996 Olympics, when Carl Lewis and Jackie Joyner-Kersee were still landing in sand pits.

    “It’s about time, that’s what I’d say,” said Christian Taylor, who leaped 58 feet, 11 ¼ inches for the triple jump crown Sunday, with University of Florida teammate Will Claye placing third.

    Taylor trains in the Atlanta area with a group that includes Dwight Phillips, who won an unprecedented fourth straight world long jump title.

    Taylor, 21, said he wanted to say Phillips, 33, was like a brother to him, but “he’s kind of old, so he’s kind of like a dad,” he said. “The U.S. definitely represented and showed that we are the best team in the world. This is just the steppingstone to the Olympics.”

    Brittney Reese defended her women’s long jump title and Jesse Williams was the first U.S. male to win the high jump since Charles Austin in 1991.

    The U.S. won the medal count for the fourth straight World Championships with 25 medals (12 gold, eight silver and five bronze). Russia was second with 19, followed by Kenya (17), which ran away with the distance races.

    The USA’s medal total was an improvement over the 22 the Americans won two years ago at the world championships in Berlin.

    “The United States kept its position as the world’s No. 1 team,” said head U.S. men’s coach Vin Lananna. “I think we’re set up beautifully going into London. We have some work to do, but the good thing is we’re in a position to be able to capitalize on those great successes that we had here.”

    In one thrilling 32-minute stretch Thursday, the U.S. won three gold medals in quick succession: former steeplechaser Jenny Simpson in the women’s 1,500, Williams in the high jump and LaShinda Demus in the women’s 400 hurdles, smashing a 16-year-old American record.

    The U.S. won three of the four relays, ending a snakebit streak in the 4×100 in which neither the men or women made the final in the 2008 Olympics or 2009 worlds.

    In the men’s 4×100, they got the baton around three-quarters of the way before Darvis “Doc” Patton tangled with a British runner and fell, crushing U.S. hopes while Jamaica’s Usain Bolt raced to a world record.

    “We had great stick passing, it just happened that we had a collision with another team,” said Justin Gatlin, who ran the second leg. “If anything, we came away with a moral victory. I think we won over the fans, to show them that we can come together as team, and next year we’ll be stronger and better.”

    But the rest of the world won’t be sitting idly by. David Greene of Britain won the men’s 400 hurdles, breaking a U.S. winning streak that dated to 2005. “The Americans haven’t been dominating on the circuit this year,” he said. “It is nice to see fresh faces on the scene — not fresh faces, just not American for a change. It shows the rest of the world is catching up.”

    Allyson Felix won four medals for a total of 10 in her career, tying Lewis for most U.S. medals at worlds. However, in her quest to double in the 200 and 400, she lost her world title in the 200, placing third, and won the silver in the 400. “Even though I came up short in my individual events, it was a success to walk away with medals and a learning experience,” said Felix, who will reconsider her options for the Olympics.

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