EUGENE, Ore. - 2008 Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bryan Clay will not compete at the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field due to an injury.
The final event of the 2009 USATF Outdoor Visa Championship Series, the USA Outdoor Championships will take place June 25-28 in Eugene.
Clay, who set the U.S. Olympic Trials and Hayward Field record of 8,832 points with his win here last year, developed a sore left hamstring during a practice session on Tuesday while jogging on the long jump runway. Clay announced this morning that he is unable to compete in the decathlon competition that began here at 11 a.m.
"I hurt my leg a little less than 48 hours ago," said Clay. "I had two little pops in my (left) hamstring. It didn't feel like anything too serious. I got back on the runway and tried to do another stride and I realized it was a little worse than I thought. We've been doing as much as we can the last two days. I've been in hyperbaric chambers, I've been getting acupuncture, massage, I've been taking ibuprofen, and doing everything we could do to get my leg felling better, but it's still feeling pretty bad."
Although Clay will not be eligible to compete at the 2009 World Outdoor Championships this summer in Berlin, Germany, he has his sights set on other goals. "After I sulk for a little bit, my coaches and I will get together and figure out what I'm going to do for the rest of the year," he said. "We have our ultimate goal of coming out in the next three years and going after the world indoor record, the world outdoor record, and then of course, making another Olympic team. My goal is to be the only American to ever win three (decathlon) medals at three Olympics, so we're starting to look forward at this point."
Clay claimed the "world's greatest athlete" moniker with his dominating decathlon win at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The first U.S. Olympic decathlon champ since Dan O'Brien in 1996, Clay amassed 8,791 points in capturing the Olympic gold medal. His winning margin was a whopping 240 points over his nearest competitor, which is the largest winning margin at an Olympic Games since 1972.
The 2005 World Outdoor decathlon champion, 2008 World Indoor heptathlon gold medalist and a three-time U.S. champion, Clay was ranked #1 in the world by Track & Field News following the 2008 season.
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For more information on the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships and the USATF Visa Championship Series, visit: www.visachampionshipseries.com.
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