Gators Christian Taylor, Will Claye take home Olympic gold and silver for United States in triple jump — again

By Adam Silverstein
August 16, 2016
Gators Christian Taylor, Will Claye take home Olympic gold and silver for United States in triple jump — again
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Image Credit: Associated Press

Former Florida Gators track & field athletes Christian Taylor and Will Claye dominated the finals of the men’s triple jump at the 2016 Rio Olympics, finishing first and second respectively in the event, to take home gold and silver for the United States.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because Taylor and Claye did the exact same thing four years ago in London. The two former Gators defended their medals with Taylor’s top two jumps (17.86m, 17.77m) both edging Claye (17.76m) for gold.

Four years ago, Taylor at 22 became the youngest jumper in 100 years to win Olympic gold in the triple jump. Now, four years after becoming the first American since 1996 to win gold in the triple jump, he’s just the second American and fourth man ever to defend his gold medal in the event.

Taylor’s gold-winning mark of 17.86m came on his first attempt. Claye also reached his 17.76m early in the competition. The two went back-and-forth over six jumps trying to outduel each other, but multiple faults made it pretty clear their earlier scores would have to last.

Claye, who also took bronze in the long jump back in 2012 but did not get a qualifying score in 2016, never led during Tuesday’s event.

The medals won by Taylor and Claye mark the sixth and seventh by former Gators in these Olympics. Representatives of Florida now have four golds, two silvers and one bronzes over the course of the games with a handful of events remaining.

Taylor and Claye’s medals are just the fourth and fifth field medals in school history.

Oh, and Claye had arguably an even bigger moment on Tuesday. After officially winning the silver, he got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend.

OnlyGators.com continues to offer full live coverage of the Rio Olympics in our tracker, which includes a daily schedule, medal count and full roster of Gators in the Olympics.

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