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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 8:34 a.m., Sunday, March 12, 2006

Clay gets heptathlon silver at World Indoor Championships

Associated Press

MOSCOW — Andre Niklaus of Germany used a huge pole vault and a strong 1,000-meter race to upset favorites Bryan Clay and Roman Sebrle Sunday for the gold medal in the heptathlon at the World Indoor Championships.

Niklaus was sixth going into the two final events of the two-day competition, but he cleared 17 feet, 4 1/2 inches in the pole vault and won the 1,000 in 2:47.80 to grab the gold medal five points ahead of Clay, the decathlon world champion and silver medalist at the 2004 Olympics.

The come-from-behind victory was the first international title for Niklaus.

Clay, a Castle High alum, led through the first six events, but his margin had dropped to 28 points when he managed only 15-1 in the pole vault. By finishing more than three seconds behind the German in the 1,000, Clay settled for the silver medal.

"I can't complain too much," Clay said. "I had a few good events, really good events, just off my personal best, and I had a few really bad events.

"I am just happy to still be in the medals to be going home with another silver medal," Clay said.

Niklaus finished with a personal best 6,192 points, while the American had 6,187.

"It was a great competition," Niklaus said. "The final ranking was really settled in the 1,000 and my only plan was to run in front."

"I started the competition with the hope of setting a personal best, around 6,100, and nothing more," the German added.

Sebrle, the Olympic champion and decathlon world record holder, took the bronze at 6,161.