Bryan Clay rested after running the 1,000 meters yesterday.
Clay golden in heptathlon
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VALENCIA, Spain » Two weeks ago, Hawaii's Bryan Clay wasn't even expecting to compete at the IAAF World Indoor Track & Field Championships.
His training had been slowed by the flu -- which caused him to lose 12 pounds -- and an injured hamstring. The 28-year-old didn't even qualify for the meet, but received an invitation to compete.
The Castle High graduate not only competed but dominated the men's heptathlon from the opening event. The 2005 world outdoor decathlon champion and two-time world indoor silver medalist won his first indoor title, finishing with a personal-best 6,371 points yesterday.
"I was sick and then I was hurt," he said. "Two weeks ago I would have told you that I wouldn't even be able to compete here."
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Bryan Clay, who has recently been bothered by an injured hamstring and the flu, won his first world heptathlon title yesterday.
VALENCIA, Spain » Castle High alumnus Bryan Clay won gold in the heptathlon yesterday at the World Indoor Championships, and Yelena Soboleva of Russia broke her own world record in the 1,500 meters.
Soboleva finished in 3 minutes, 57.71 seconds, shaving 0.34 seconds off her former mark.
Clay clinched the gold after Olympic champion Roman Sebrle withdrew because of injury. Clay opened with a win in the 60 and won three more events, scoring a personal best 6,371 points for his second world title.
Clay could have set a new point record by running under 2 minutes, 45.47 seconds in the final 1,000-meter event. He struggled to a last-place time of 2:55.64 -- still a season best.
Still, he was pleased with the results after dealing with the flu -- dropping 12 pounds -- and an injured hamstring.
"If you had asked me two weeks ago if I would be here, I probably would have told you I wouldn't be at this meet," said Clay, who was invited after failing to qualify. "This just shows how well my training has been going."
The 28-year-old won the world decathlon in Helsinki, Finland, in 2005.
The U.S. picked up another gold in the men's 1,600 relay. The team of James Davis, Jamaal Torrance, Greg Nixon and Kelly Willie won in 3:06.79, ahead of Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.
That lifted the U.S. gold-medal count to five and 13 medals overall. Russia also had five golds, with 12 overall.
In the pole vault, Evgeniy Lukyanenko of Russia won at 19 feet, 4 1/4 inches, defeating outdoor world champion Brad Walker of the United States at 19-2 1/4 . Steven Hooker of Australia was third.
In the 400, Tyler Christopher of Canada won in a world-leading 45.67 seconds, rushing past Johan Wissman of Sweden (46.04) and Chris Brown of the Bahamas (46.26).
"I just knew that for the last 100 meters to tuck in behind (Wissman) and save enough energy for the extra kick," Christopher said.
Maria Mutola missed out on a record eighth gold medal at the world indoor championships, finishing third in the 800 behind winner Tamsyn Lewis.
At 35 and running in her last indoor championships, Mutola ran a poor tactical race and let Lewis sweep past her on the inside with less than a lap left. Lewis won in 2:02.57, edging Tetiana Petlyuk of the Ukraine by 0.09.
"I should have done better," said Mutola, who finished in 2:02.97. "I got caught by surprise."
Lewis said she couldn't get around the pack from the outside, so she made a move on the inside to win.
But no one was more surprised than Lewis, the 29-year-old Australian who won her first major title.
"I was just hoping to make the final. I did win, didn't I?" Lewis said. "Maria is a star. I always wanted to get close to her."
Mutola, who won her first gold in 1993, retired from indoor racing yesterday. The star from Mozambique will focus on winning a second Olympic gold in Beijing.
In the women's 400, Olesya Zykina of Russia won in 51.09, followed by teammate Natalya Nazarova and Shareese Woods of the United States. Nazarova missed out on gold by 0.01.
Nazarova later won gold in the 1,600-meter relay for her seventh gold overall to tie Mutola.
Tariku Bekele earned his first major title by winning the 3,000.
Without his brother Kenenisa in the lineup -- the multiple Olympic and world champion -- Bekele dominated to defeat Paul Kipsiele Koech of Kenya and fellow Ethiopian Abreham Cherkos.
In the last event, Blanca Vlasic of Croatia won her 22nd straight high jump competition at 6-7 1/2 , defeating Olympic champion Elena Slesarenko of Russia and Vita Palomar of Ukraine.