American Will Claye misses golden opportunity

Posted at 12:47 AM, Aug 05, 2021


American Will Claye was looking to better his silver finish from Rio in the men's triple jump. Unfortunately, he came up just short missing the podium altogether. Claye's longest jump measured 17.44, just .03 behind Burkina Faso's Hugues Fabrice Zango's jump of 17.47. 

Claye was looking to take advantage of fellow American Christian Taylor's absence in Tokyo. The decorated triple jumper, and reigning gold medalist, ruptured his Achilles in May. Taylor hadn't lost a major global title since 2013, with Claye often finishing second to his compatriot. The pair has battled against each other since high school, with both attending the University of Florida. Tokyo marks the first time since 2010 that Claye has competed without Taylor in a U.S. senior outdoor championship. 

The triple jumper entered competition with the best triple mark in the world since 2016, with a jump of 18.14m coming in June of 2019. Portugal's Pedro Pablo Pichardo pulled off the upset on Wednesday in Tokyo, landing a 17.98 jump in his third attempt. Zhu Yaming of China finished second with a jump of 17.57. 

While missing the podium is a disappointment for Claye, he is coming off his own Achilles injury and wouldn't even had been able to compete if the Games were held in 2020. Claye ultimately came up short in Tokyo, but he is still a three-time Olympic medalist, with the above mentioned silvers and a bronze from long jump in 2012.

Will Claye of Team United States reacts during the Men's Triple Jump Final
Will Claye of Team United States reacts during the Men's Triple Jump Final.
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