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Clay takes big lead through eight decathlon events

Clay takes big lead through eight decathlon events

Bryan Clay sat on the track, then plopped on his back, chest heaving. The American's head was resting a couple of feet beyond the finish line he had just crossed as the Olympic decathlon gold medalist.
Four years after settling for silver at the Summer Games, Clay finished with 8,791 points to win the 10-discipline event.
Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus took the silver with 8,551, and Leonel Suarez of Cuba was third with 8,527.
Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic, the 2004 Olympic and 2005 world champion, finished sixth.
The 1.80-meter (5-foot-11), 84 kilograms (185-pound) Clay is the first American to win the decathlon since Dan O'Brien at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
The event began Thursday morning in the rain and finished on a muggy night at the Bird's Nest with the javelin and 1,500 meters.
Already holding a comfortable lead, Clay was able to take it relatively easy in the event-ending 1,500, finishing in 5 minutes, 6.59 seconds.
In his three events during Friday's daytime session, Clay was second-fastest in the 110 meter hurdles at 13.93 seconds, set an Olympic best in the discus at 176 feet, 5 inches (53.79 meters), then cleared 16-4 3/4 (5.00 meters) in the pole vault, tied for second-best in the competition.
Trey Hardee, NCAA champion for Texas in 2005 and runner-up to Clay at this year's U.S. trials, was a close fourth through seven events but failed to clear his opening height in the pole vault and did not finish.
He missed three times at 15-5 (4.70 meters), spoiling a chance for the United States to win two medals in the decathlon for the first time since Milt Campbell and Rafer Johnson went 1-2 at the 1956 Melbourne Games.
Clay led the decathlon overall standings since winning the first event, the 100 meters, in a driving rain.
He knew his first and best discus attempt Friday was a good one, even as it left his hands. He raised both arms and watched the throw easily outdistance the previous Olympic mark of 169-5 (51.65) set by Dmitriy Karpov of Kazakhstan four years ago.


Updated : 2021-02-25 19:35 GMT+08:00