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Clay of United States Wins Men's Decathlon Gold
    2008-08-22 22:04:58     Xinhua

Bryan Clay of the United States, silver medalist four years ago in Athens, finally won the men's decathlon gold at the Beijing Olympic Games on Friday.

The 28-year-old collected 8,791 points, a new Olympic record. Belarus' Andrei Krauchanka won the silver with 8,551 points and Cuba's Leonel Suarez took the bronze with 8,527.

Clay, also the 2005 world champion, took the lead from the start, and he was never threatened for first place. He topped disciplines including 100 meters, long jump and discus throw. He lied on the track after finishing the 1,500 meters race, the last event, exhausted.

"It was a long one. It was brutal, it was just brutal. It probably was the hardest decathlon I've ever done in my life through all the extremes and weather conditions." said the champion.

"I'm very, very tired, but I'm also very happy. Yesterday is a little bad but it's generally OK." he said.

On racing just to finish the 1,500 meters, he said: "I guess I knew that if I finished the race I was going to win, but I was still nervous. I still get nervous about whether I am going to be able to finish the race."

"I was exhausted. I had nothing in my legs but my main goal was to come out and compete and win a gold medal."

Krauchanka was ninth after completing shot put. However, his excellent performance in 400 meters, pole vault and javelin throw helped him catch up to snatch the silver in the end.

Cuba's Suarez was third in the 1,500 meters, taking his score to a national record of 8,527 points and allowing him to move past Alexander Pogorelov of Russia for the bronze medal.

"It's a great result for me. I prepared well, but I didn't actually think about winning a medal before the competition. It was only on the first day when I started the competition, that I realized I had a chance to win a medal. I prepared well for the world championships last year and that followed through to the Olympics."

"Before the competition my goal was to score 8,500 points and I did that so I'm very happy. Obviously I'm very happy with my performance in the running events but I think the event that made the difference was the Javelin because I threw a personal best. I also had very good results in the hurdles."

Talking about how to handle the pressure as a 20-year-old athlete, he said: "I haven't been in a competition like this in the past. My coach told me that I was only competing against myself and not the other competitors and I never felt a lot of pressure. I was very relaxed throughout the competition."

"Of course I want to go to London because I'm only young. I want to get a better result there but what happens, happens," he said.

 
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