Clay pulls out of nationals


POSTED: Friday, June 26, 2009

EUGENE, ORE. » Olympic decathlon champion Bryan Clay withdrew from the U.S. national track championships yesterday with an injured left hamstring, a decision that could force him to shut down his entire 2009 season.

Clay, who hurt himself Tuesday in workouts, warmed up briefly before the meet started, but decided he couldn't compete.

Because of that, he can't qualify for the world championships, to be held in Berlin later this summer. Only the top three finishers this week at nationals receive bids, and Clay's Olympic gold medal doesn't earn him a wild-card spot.

“;I've got to sit down with my coaches, my agents and weigh the options,”; said Clay, who will spend the rest of the week tweeting about nationals. “;I've got to see where we're at, see what meets are out there. I honestly don't even know where to begin for that.”;

Clay said the injury would probably be healed in six or seven days. But he was still within 48 hours of hurting it, and extensive time in therapy over the last two days wasn't enough to get him in competition form.

“;If I could go out there and run a 10.8, I'd run a 10.8 in the first event, the 100,”; Clay said. “;But there's no way I can run a 10.8 today, so we shut it down. There's no use in me going out there, running an 11.5, risking further injury and maybe not be able to finish anyway.”;