During Troy Kemp's long career as a high jumper he seemed destined to
always be one of the supporting cast at major international
championships, until he made a major breakthrough at Gothenburg in 1995.
Well before that, Troy had competed at both the 1987 World
Championships and the 1988 Olympic Games, but had failed to qualify for
the final on both occasions. In 1991, he improved his personal best to
2.35m in July before finishing equal fifth at the World Championships in
Tokyo. He followed this with a 7th place finish at the following
year's Olympic Games in Barcelona. Kemp had a much better year in 1993,
starting with his equal fourth place finish at the World Indoor
Championships in Toronto.
In the outdoor season, he equalled Steve
Smith's (Great Britain) Commonwealth record of 2.37m on 26 June, and
later that year, finished fifth at the World Championships in Stuttgart.
Kemp's best year was 1995, which included a 2.38m clearance at Nice on
12 July. This was the second best mark of the year behind world record
holder Javier Sotomayor's 2.40m, and equalled the new Commonwealth
record which Steve Smith had set in 1994. At the World Championships at
Gothenburg on 8 August, five men, including Kemp, were still in the
running after they had all cleared 2.35m. Kemp and Sotomayor made the
next and final height of 2.37m, but as Kemp (see photo above) had
made it on his second attempt, while Sotomayor had needed three, it was
Troy who was awarded the gold medal.
Unfortunately, his brief moment
of glory was short-lived, and the following year he finished a
disappointing 13th at the Olympics in Atlanta. Kemp continued to
compete for a few more years after that, but no longer at competitive
level for major championships. (Ron Casey)