Hawaii's Clay repeats as indoor world heptathlon champion
DOHA, Qatar — Hawai‘i's Bryan Clay successfully defended his world indoor heptathlon title today, defeating American teammate Trey Hardee and Russia's Aleksey Drozdov.
Clay, a Castle High alum, finished last in the 1,000 meters today in the final event, but fast enough to maintain the points advantage. He finished the seven events with 6,204 points, 20 ahead of outdoor world champion Hardee. Drozdov had 6,141 for bronze.
Clay needed a big final lap to finish in 2 minutes 50.28 seconds, just 2.52 seconds behind Hardee.
Clay admitted he was running on empty late in the race.
"The last few years, I've barely broke 3 minutes in the 1,000," he said. "I didn't make it easy on myself in the last two days. I had a lot of attempts in things that I shouldn't have attempts at. So my legs were pretty tired, pretty fried."
Hardee said he knew Clay had won the moment he crossed the line, looked back and saw the Olympic champion less than three seconds behind him. Still, he was satisfied with silver in his first world indoors.
"I was happy. I was just running to keep my lead," Hardee said.
In a good day for the U.S. team, Christian Cantwell won his third shot put title and Debbie Dunn added gold in the 400 meters.
In the women's pentathlon, Britain's Jessica Ennis led from start to finish to take gold ahead of Olympic champion Natallia Dobrynska and Russia's Tatyana Chernova.
Ennis, the outdoor heptathlon world champion, finished with a championship record of 4,937 points, while Dobrynska set a Ukrainian record of 4,851. U.S. athlete Hyleas Fountain set a North American record of 4,753 in fourth.
Ethiopia's Meseret Defar has won her fourth 3,000 meter world indoor title in a row, beating Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot in a sprint to the line. Defar's teammate Sentayehu Ejigu took the bronze.
Cantwell won his third world indoor title in the shot, saving his biggest shot until his sixth and final attempt at 71 feet, 7 1/2 inches.
Dunn added to the U.S. party mood when he took charge in the 400 early on and never let off to finish in 51.04. Jamaica's Novlene Williams-Mills stumbled off the track early on in a slight clash with Tatyana Firova but the Russian went on to claim silver a full 1.07 seconds behind.