General News

Men's Heptathlon Pole Vault

He did not quite have the worst Pole Vault personal best going into the event, but American Bryan Clay, the leader from the start of the men's Heptathlon, failed to even match that as the competition took a sensational twist to mean it will all be down to the last discpline.

Clay's lead after five events had been 101 points from Roman Sebrle, of the Czech Republic, but a brilliant performance in the Pole Vault by German Andre Niklaus has changed the whole picture.

Amazingly, after the first discipline of the morning, the 60m Hurdles, Niklaus was only sixth overall with 4399, a mammoth 242 behind Clay.

But then everything changed in the Pole Vault as Niklaus cleared a superb 5.30m.

He entered the competition with a best of 5.35m, but the key was his consistency and Clay's scoring of less than he might have been expected to.

Clay achieved 4.60m at the first attempt - he has has a best of 4.90m - but he then failed on his three efforts at 4.70m, leaving Niklaus, who did not enter until five metres, clearing that height, and those of 5.10m, 5.20m and 5.30m with his first go.

The points difference has meant the whole complexion of the event has changed because Niklaus scored 1004, 214 points more than Clay who was last.

Overall, with 5431, Clay leads by just 28 with this afternoon's 1000m left in which the German, on best times, is the fastest in the field and has a nine-second advantage over the America. What a finish will be in store.

RL