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Bryan Clay's hopes to make U.S. Olympic team dashed

By Adam Sparks

LAST UPDATED: 06:52 p.m. HST, Jun 23, 2012

EUGENE, Ore. >> Bryan Clay's dream of becoming the first decathlete in history to medal at three different Olympics won't come true this year after the Castle High alum stumbled in the 110 hurdles this morning at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

Clay, the 2008 gold medalist and ’04 silver medalist, began the decathlon's second day in third place overall, but was disqualified in the day's first event after smashing into the final hurdle and pushing it with his hands. Clay then walked across the finish line for a time of 16.81 before throwing his sunglasses to the ground. The DQ — for pushing the hurdle with his hands — was announced after he left the track.

That decision was later reversed by USA Track and Field, giving him 644 points in the event for his 16.81-second finish.

But the damage to Clay's Olympic hopes, however, is irreversible; in the event that followed the 110s, he fouled on all three attempts in the discus, failing to earn a score.

Clay needed to finish in the top three and reach the Olympic A standard of 8,200 points, but wound up in 12th. He received big ovations from the Hayward Field crowd as he tried to qualify in the discus. Had Clay known the points from the hurdles would have counted, he might not have gone so hard to make a great throw.

Four years ago at Hayward, Clay set a Trials record with 8,832 points, before going on to win the gold medal in Beijing. That gave him two Olympic decathlon medals, after he earned silver in 2004 in Athens.

While Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee are widely considered the future of the U.S. decathlon — they finished 1-21 today — there still appeared to be plenty of room for Clay in the present, with many track and field analysts expecting him to be part of a U.S. medals sweep this summer. A bronze or better would have made Clay the first decathlete to medal three times.

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Grimbold wrote:
Too old , not too good enough. Ridiculous that he does not understand.
on June 23,2012 | 11:19AM
walaau808 wrote:
Wow...you must be perfect. He was good enough for a silver and gold, and was still competing at a very high level. Guess you're just a jealous hater!
on June 23,2012 | 04:23PM
wiliki wrote:
Like the official who dunned him for his emotional outburst on the final hurdle. That was unnecessary, he was already in bad shape on scores. Why knock him out of the competition entirely?
on June 23,2012 | 05:34PM
kiheilocal wrote:
kind of relieved I dont have to listen to his born-again stuff.
on June 23,2012 | 11:48AM
kailuabred wrote:
guess god didn't want him to compete
on June 23,2012 | 01:03PM
walaau808 wrote:
You had a choice never to listen...but you did. That's not Clay's fault, it's your own.
on June 23,2012 | 04:23PM
wiliki wrote:
A good coach might have been better for him in this case, than God.
on June 23,2012 | 05:36PM
Wazdat wrote:
I could not agree more.
on June 24,2012 | 12:38AM
cojef wrote:
Makule athlete living in the past. Does it mean he has to look for a job, now that ASIS is gonna drop him??
on June 23,2012 | 12:03PM
jaluasa wrote:
Wow, too bad, tough break man... What's up with the negative comments? Don't be jealous cause you never were 1/10 the person he was, jeezz...
on June 23,2012 | 12:42PM
kk808 wrote:
Negative comments come from people who have a negative outlook on life...mainly their own lives.
on June 23,2012 | 02:53PM
localpoi wrote:
So much negativity.... be proud he represented Hawaii well!
on June 23,2012 | 02:28PM
shshimizu wrote:
Negative comments come from people that never achieved squat. Sad that there are so many losers with negative and mean tempermants. Imua Mr. Clay, your sacrifices are an inspiration to our youth. Losers alway tallk trash mainly due to there in ability to achieve greatness.
on June 23,2012 | 04:25PM
walaau808 wrote:
BC, thank you for representing Hawaii the way you did! You've made a lot of us proud! Do what makes you happy and keep your head up!!!!!
on June 23,2012 | 04:25PM
t_faman wrote:
Bryan, be proud of yourself. You represented Hawaii and the U.S. well with a Gold and Silver Medal, in 2008 and 2004. You're still a Champion.
on June 23,2012 | 04:46PM
Anonymous wrote:
I can not believe all the haters on this page! I was once a national class athlete and know what it's like to have your hopes dashed on a single mistake. I didn't even make the trials in 1980 or 1984 but was good enough to be in the running. Bryan Clay is probably the best athlete ever to come out of the Hawaiian Islands and I would think people here would be extremely proud of him. I wasn't born here but I've lived here long enough to know what true Aloha is. I sure don't see it much on this page and unfortunately that is very sad for everyone.
on June 23,2012 | 05:03PM
wiliki wrote:
The result is disappointing. But it doesn't make sense to make personal attacks on the athlete when he tried his best. We can Monday morning quarter back, but we'll never know what really happened on the field. I have a lot of respect for Clay and hope he tries to compete again in another world competition next year. Perhaps he may have a wiser strategy then. We learn a lot from our failures.
on June 23,2012 | 05:46PM
wiliki wrote:
Seems that he was choking up on himself. It's hard not to take risks to continue to compete when you're third and trying to do better.

Looks like he took a risk and tried to accelerate the timing on the hurdles. This was probably unwise and foolish but he did it anyway. Does he have some kind of coaching on the field?

Because of his emotional outburst on kicking the final hurdle, he suffered worse. He didn't factor in how much his timing could change over the course of the whole race. People do get tired after all.

Don't know why he had to push himself. He was already in the lead for third place. He blew it.

on June 23,2012 | 05:32PM
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