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Tue, Jul 1st 2008, 15:59

Bryan Clay Earns Spot on 2008 Olympic Team

2005 world champion Bryan Clay entered Monday’s second day of decathlon competition in the lead, and he never relinquished it. Indeed, he made some history along the way. The 2004 Olympic Trials champ was third in the 110m hurdles to open the day’s competition, running 13.79 for 1007 points, and he easily won the discus with a throw of 52.74m/173-00 (928). Clay tied for fourth in the pole vault (5.00m 16-04.75, 910 points) and won the javelin (70.55m/231-05, 898 points) before grappling with his nemesis, the 1,500m, where he had a solid performance of 4:50.97 for 613 points. Over two days, Clay scored 8,832 points to break the previous Olympic Trials record of 8,726 set by Dan O’Brien in 1996, the year O’Brien won Olympic gold. Clay’s score was a personal best, the best by an American in 16 years, and the best in the world in four years.

Bryan said after the race, “We plugged in some numbers and my coach Kevin Reed said this is what you could still do. It actually was an American record. We were like okay that is the goal. We came out and we were actually ahead of pace in the hurdles and then we fell back in the discus, came back and missed a tiny bit in the vault and missed a tiny bit in the javelin and then missed a tiny bit in the 1500.”

“I’m happy with my training. I’m happy with my mindset and I want to bring that to Beijing. I just have to get after it every event, stay focused, and do my job. It’s about getting the events to line up and staying consistent.”

Bryan’s next challenge will be to bring home the Olympic gold metal. The Summer Olympics begin in Beijing, China on August 8th.