Rio DreamTroy Doris put Guyana into the Olympic record book, when he finished seventh in the men’s triple jump finals, during the morning session of the fifth day of Athletics. The 27 year old had a best distance of 16.90m in the fifth round to secure a top eight finish for the first time ever for the South American, Caribbean country.

He was short of his national record effort of 17.18m achieved in Florida in May. The University of Iowa graduate, surpassed his country’s previous Olympic best performance by Jennifer Innis who was 13th in the women’s long jump finals at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, Russia.

Speaking after his historic feat, Doris said qualifying for the finals was important to him. “Making the finals means a lot but I didn’t want to pressure myself with that fact. (On becoming the first from Guyana) it means a lot for me and the country. I came a long way. My family will be overexcited. Guyana will be overexcited too.”

He added that he tried not to be distracted in his maiden Olympics. “In Rio it was unreal. I am enjoying the experience. I barely had time to take pictures. I was trying to be so focussed.”

Doris was the lone Caribbean finalist in the event in Rio. Americans, Christopher Taylor (17.86) and Will Clay (17.76) won gold and silver for the second straight Olympic Games. China’s Bind Dong was third (17.58).

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Clayton Clarke is a freelance track and field journalist since 2005. He is a former athlete and an IAAF Level III coach (Sprints & Hurdles). He has been a writer with Track Alerts since its inception in 2009. He worked with several media houses (radio, tv, newspaper, website) in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, St. Kitts Nevis and the Bahamas. The Tobago native has covered the Carifta Games since 2005, the 2010 Commonwealth Games, 2011 World Athletic Championships and numerous local and regional track and field events.. Though track and field is his passion and main interest, he has served as media liaison with numerous sporting bodies in T&T and in particular in Tobago, namely cycling, chess, football, beach soccer, taekwondo, rugby, swimming, tennis and beach volleyball.

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