Christian Taylor in the triple jump at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Report: men's triple jump final – Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Christian Taylor and Will Claye of the USA repeated their 1-2 finish in the men’s triple jump from London 2012, winning gold and silver respectively just as they did four years ago. The pair had the five longest marks of the competition between them.

"I wanted it so much,” Taylor said of the repeat victory. “It came together, the stars aligned.”

Taylor’s gold-medal-winning 17.86m leap came in the first round, establishing him in the lead early after world indoor champion Dong Bin’s 17.58m opener was the first mark beyond 17 metres.

Claye followed with 17.76m on his own first attempt.

After that, the medals order didn’t change; in fact, the three medallists didn’t improve on their first-round marks. Taylor hit 17.77m twice, in the second and fourth rounds, reaching for the 18-metre territory he surpassed in winning the world title in 2015; he also recorded three fouls.

Any one of Taylor’s three recorded marks would have been enough to win the competition. Both Taylor and Claye improved on their marks from London.

Claye fouled twice before reaching 17.61m in the fourth round and then 17.55m in the sixth.

Dong also fouled twice and then passed on his remaining three attempts.

"It's very special for me because it's the Olympics,” said Dong. “I got my personal best which made me very happy. It's a new landscape for me. I've improved so much since coming 10th at London."

Outside the medals, the excitement was still largely in the early rounds. In the second round, Colombia’s John Murillo leapt 17.09m to set a national record which put him in fourth place; he wouldn’t improve on that. Nelson Evora joined him beyond 17 metres in the third round, jumping 17.03m.

In the fifth round, China’s Cao Shuo moved up to fourth with a 17.13m leap, displacing Murillo to fifth and Evora to sixth.

On his last attempt, the gold secured, Taylor got far into the pit, but had a toe over the board and therefore got a red flag rather than the kind of mark he might have hoped for. A second gold medal seemed like an acceptable consolation, however.

"I wanted the world record but it wasn't to be,” Taylor said. “I'll keep pushing for it. It's been there so long."

Claye celebrated his silver medal by proposing marriage to hurdler Queen Harrison.

Parker Morse for the IAAF