INTER-Guiana Games gold medallist Tortque Boyce is still a small-scale athlete, but the high jumper is determined not to leave athletics without making his mark.The West Bank of Demerara native has been putting up the action to back his talks, after clearing a 2.0m jump in the Boys’ high jump at the recent Inter-Guiana Games last month. Guyana’s national record in the men’s high jump is 2.17m, a difference of just under seven inches.This new personal-best for the former Stewartville Secondary School student marked an improvement of almost five inches over the bar for the past nine months, since he came under the tutelage of Guyana Defence Force (GDF) coach Rawle Griffith.Watching Boyce perform at the National Schools Championships last year November, Griffith was impressed, even though Boyce finished third in the Boys Under-18 high jump, after clearing 1.88m.Seeing that Boyce was able to reach that far using the scissors technique, Griffith realised that with the right guidance, and a change of technique Boyce could go places.“I saw that he has tremendous potential,” Griffith told Chronicle Sport.“At the time he was doing the scissors jump, and I knew that if I teach him the Frosbury Flop he could do much better. And so he started training with me in January and I introduced him to the Frosbury Flop, which he learnt very quickly. After that I just kept seeing improvements in his performance.”By March of this year, Boyce was reaching 1.90m, which helped him to qualify to represent Guyana at the CARIFTA Games in Curacao, in the Boys’ Under-18 high jump.At the Games, he finished ninth, after he could make it no further than 1.85m, the event was won by Bahamas Shaun Miller, who equalled the event’s record, with his 2.06m clearance.The lost was just a stepping stone for Boyce, who was back at clearing 1.90m in June, which led him to a silver medal at the South American Junior Championships. He reached as far as 1.96m, in July, to become the national senior champion, while just a youth athlete.Griffith is predicting even greater things to come.“He has a far way to go. I’m very much impressed that from January to now he’s jumping 2m, and he’s 17-year-old. By next year he should be jumping about 2.10m, 2.15m which would help him to earn medals at CARIFTA Games and he would only be 18 by then. He would still have some more time. I see him breaking the national record in a couple of years’ time,” Griffith asserted.Griffith’s confidence has been rubbing off on Boyce.“Honestly I think I could reach really far in high jump. I know that I will reach far. I have the height advantage. I know if I put my mind to it I know I could get really far,” Boyce saidThe gritty athlete says he has even been reading up on what it takes to be a professional athlete, and despite Guyana’s landscape of struggles and challenges for aspiring athletes he really thinks he has what it takes to persevere and go the whole nine yards.“I really want to make a name for myself. I ain’t just want to be doing high jump, and nobody knows who I am. Or being an athlete and nobody knows I was an athlete. At least I would be recognised, people would say, yes, he was a good athlete,” Boyce declared.After completing school earlier this year, he is now trying to put more focus on his training and being more consistent, but admits that like with most athletes, finance has been a challenge. Boyce travels three times a week from his Middle Street Pouderoyen home all the way to Camp Ayanganna in Georgetown to train.It has been a strain, but Boyce is looking forward to seeing it all pay off one day, with the pride his performances could bring to his country.
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- High jumper Tortque Boyce looking to leave his mark