Haiti's Samyr Laine Advances to Final Round of Olympic Triple-Jump

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Tuesday, 07 August 2012 11:06

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LONDON, United Kingdom (defend.ht) - Samyr Laine advanced to the Final Round in Men's Triple Jump at the 2012 Olympic Games in London with an incredible 16.81 meter performance.

Laine came in 6th place in his group after only taking 2 out of 3 of his attempts at the jump. Overall, the Harvard graduate ranked in the top 10 out of 26 competitors.

Photos

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Videos

Haiti Olympics - London 2012: Men's Triple Jump Round 1, Samyr Laine

Samyr Laine on Olympic Goals - Bloomberg

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Jumping For Haiti: Triple Jumper Samyr Laine Has Eyes Set On London

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Pre London Olympic Games Video Blog - Samyr Laine

Samyr Laine registered a 16.81 meter flight in his second attempt. His first attempt was 16.14 meters. The longest distance in the qualifiers was 17.21 meters by the Americans. Laine's personal best is 17.39 meters.

The Final Round of Men's Triple Jump will be on Thursday afternoon at 2:20PM EST.

The Journey Continues

Laine had a choice of competing with the USA team or the Haitian team. He was born in the United States but both his parents are Haitian. Laine told the Wall Street Journal that despite having more difficulties competing with Haiti, he decided to do so for a greater purpose.

"As a U.S. athlete you're more marketable," Laine conceded. The WSJ found the Haitian Olympic team to have a budget of $400,000 versus the $170 million of the USA.

The Olympic athlete made his first visit to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. He visited an orphanage where he met kids that didn't know what the Olympics were and in the entire capital city, only one functioning track and field facility was available and it had a dirt track.

From there, Samyr established a charity called "Jump for Haiti" to promote sports in the country. He told WSJ, "I want to expose these kids to athletics, so maybe one day our Olympic team won't be 90% Haitian-American." Laine said of Haiti "So much beauty and potential lies there. The country can do great."

In Recent News

Laine has been named by J.J. Threads, the internet's premier customized fashion brand, as its Global Brand Ambassador. Laine made a statement saying "being a competitive athlete, it's important for me to have clothing that moves with me and doesn't weigh me down. J.J. Threads' shirts are not only stylish and one-of-a-kind, but the fit and wear are fantastic for my needs. I am excited to have been chosen as a brand ambassador."

Jay Wich, founder of J.J. Threads said of his brand's new ambassador, "we are really excited to have Samyr Laine represent J.J. Threads internationally as our first brand ambassador. We believe that shirts should look and feel great -- our innovative customized design approach ensures that everything is tailored for the individual. Samyr's athletic strength and philanthropic commitment to Haiti speaks internationally and is inspiring. We wish him the best of luck at the Games!"

Even greater, Samyr Laine had received the encouragement of his college freshman roommate Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook. Zuckerberg said in a Facebook message that he is "proud" of his former roommate. "He was always incredibly hard working and serious, both as a student and as an athlete," Zuckerberg wrote. "He's also just a really nice guy."

Haiti's Hope for a Medal

After valiant efforts by the five athletes competing for Haiti in the Olympic games, Samyr Laine remains the last of the five still in contention for a medal.

The first competitor, Linouse Desravine, did not make it past the first round of Women's 52kg Judo last Sunday.

Friday, Marlena Wesh ran brilliantly in the Women's 400m and advanced into the semi-finals but did not advance to the final round.

On Monday, Moise Joseph competed and ended his run in the Men's 800 meter qualifiers.

Jeffrey Julmis competed Tuesday morning in the Men's 110m Hurdles where he ended his run for a medal.