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Bryan Clay won't pursue spot in London Olympics

By Associated Press


EUGENE, Ore. >> Olympic decathlon champion Bryan Clay says he won't pursue a spot on the Olympic team in London after faltering at the U.S. track trials.

Clay stumbled in the 110-meter hurdles then struggled in the discus during last weekend's multi-event competition, finishing in 12th place.

Track's national governing body allows for the top three finishers in each event at the trials to earn a spot on the U.S. team, provided they have the "A" standard required to compete in the Olympics.

Because only two U.S. decathletes had the standard — trials winner Ashton Eaton and runner-up Trey Hardee — only two spots on the team were filled. That led to some speculation that Clay might go for the standard at some point before the July 8 deadline set by the International Olympic Committee, and appeal to USA Track and Field for a place on the team.

Fans even started an online campaign to persuade Clay to chase the standard.

In a statement released by Clay today, an off-day for the trials at Hayward Field, he said his love of the sport compelled him to "preserve its integrity."

"For this reason, and though it pains me, I believe that the USATF Committee's decision to take only two decathletes to London is the right one. Ultimately, it is in the best interest of the sport to keep the integrity of the rules in place, and to support and uphold the decisions of the USATF Committee," his statement said.

Clay was the gold medalist in the Beijing Games, becoming the first American to win the event since Dan O'Brien in 1996.

His finish at the trials dashed hopes of a rare U.S. sweep in the Olympics. Up-and-comer Eaton and reigning world champion Hardee, along with Clay, were considered the early favorites going into the London Games.

Eaton set a world record in the event at the trials with 9,039 points. Hardee finished second with 8,383 and Clay Horn — who also didn't have the "A" standard of 8,200 points this season — was third with 7,954. Clay wound up with 7,092 points. 

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billso wrote:
Well said, Bryan.
on June 26,2012 | 02:39PM
shshimizu wrote:
Mr. Clay is truly a class act. Mahalo for your dedication and integrity a rare trait these days.
on June 26,2012 | 02:53PM
kk808 wrote:
on June 26,2012 | 08:21PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Smart move by Bryan Clay. Who wants to go to London? Ewwwww.
on June 26,2012 | 03:20PM
Matsu wrote:
Was it just me, or did the announcers continously ignore Brain throughout the coverage. He won the Gold, yet he wasn't even mentioned when they highlighted all of the past gold medalists. This is not the first time he got short-changed in the coverage. He is such a nice guy, you think they would spend more time highlighting him
on June 26,2012 | 04:44PM
He said his love of the sport compelled him to "preserve it's integrity"..If only Tim Bradley learned these traits.
on June 26,2012 | 05:21PM
Papakolea wrote:
He is putting the furtherance of his sport ahead of his own interest. That's class!!
on June 26,2012 | 07:40PM
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