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Clay misses spot in Olympics

June 24, 2012
The Associated Press

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Reigning Olympic decathlon champion Bryan Clay will not get a chance to repeat as gold medalist after he stumbled in the 110-meter hurdles and finished 12th overall in the U.S. trials on Saturday.

"There was a lot of hope and expectation there," Clay said. "To see it all go out the window is pretty disappointing."

Ashton Eaton broke the world record with 9,039 points, 13 better than the mark set by the Czech Republic's Roman Sebrle 11 years ago.

Article Photos

Bryan Clay, shown after the hurdles, finished in 12th place overall.

AP photo

Clay, a Castle High School graduate, was initially disqualified from the hurdles for two actions - he knocked over the final hurdle with his hand and did not attempt to clear it. His coach appealed, and the first disqualification was rescinded but the second one was not. Then that decision was also appealed and overturned, giving Clay a time of 16.81 seconds, more than a second worse than the next-slowest competitor to finish.

Clay continued with the remaining events while the appeals were considered, but fouled on all three of his discus throws. He finished with 7,092 points.

"I knew it was important to finish. I needed to finish," Clay said. "I didn't want to finish, but between my wife and my kids and everybody, I had to finish."

Trey Hardee (8,383 points) was second and earned a spot in the London Games. Gray Horn was third with 7,954 points, but will not go to the Olympics. USA Track and Field rules allow the top three finishers on the Olympic team, but they must have the Olympic "A" standard of 8,200 points.

The 32-year-old Clay, who also won a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics, had been third in the trials standings after Friday's events.

"Would I like to be going to the Games? Yeah, I'd love to be named to the team. But the rules are the rules and everybody has to abide by them," Clay said.



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