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Thursday, August 11, 2005
WORLD TRACK AND FIELD
Clay, Olympic silver medalist in Athens, kept the world decathlon title in American hands, replacing Tom Pappas, who won it in Paris in 2003 and is injured this year.
"Bryan is truly a special athlete," fellow U.S. decathlete Phil McMullen said. "He's short, composed, with extreme explosiveness, and with extreme intelligence to really grasp all the events -- in heated competitions."
For Clay, though, the victory was not his biggest event of the summer. He was there for the birth of his son, Jacob, on July 1.
"I helped deliver the baby and everything. That was probably the most exciting moment of my life," Clay said. "This is a somewhat close second."
Training at his alma mater, tiny Azusa Pacific near Los Angeles, the Castle graduate hasn't received the worldwide attention afforded Pappas and Sebrle, but that should change with his victory.
"I know that it doesn't sound like it, I really don't mind not having the recognition," he said. "I'm kind of one of those guys that likes to come out, do my job, go home and be with my family. I can't tell you how much I want to just pack everything up and go home and be with them."
Born in Texas and raised in Hawaii, with a Japanese mother and African-American father, Clay credits his success to intense training under a team of coaches headed by Azusa Pacific men's coach Kevin Reid.
"I've been dreaming about this since I was a little kid, since I was 8 years old. So I'm just glad that dreams are finally starting to come true," he said.