Bryan Clay throws 53.79m, the furthest ever discus throw in Olympic decathlon history (Getty Images) © Copyright
Bryan Clay (USA) continued his quest for the Olympic gold medal with an excellent first round throw of 53.79m in the discus, 7th event of the decathlon. Clay, with the second best discus result in decathlon during career, is now leading the competition with 6455 points and he gets a result in the remaining three events he will win the competition too.
Ukrainian surprise Oleksiy Kasyanov shocked the others with a monster discus result 48.39m, more than eight(!) metres more than his season’s best and added more than two metres to his earlier personal best. Kasyanov is now in second place with 6172 points, 283 points behind leading Clay. But Kasyanov still has a mountain or two to climb if he wants to stay in second place. His pole vault personal best is only 4.40m and javelin PB 55.84m and he could lose 400-500 points against other top names in these two events. However he is a very good 1500m runner with a 4:22.27 personal best this season.
Andrei Krauchanka (BLR) is still the best pick for the silver medal. The Belarussian threw very close to his personal best in the discus with 44.58m result and is in third place with 6139 points at the moment. He is a very good pole vaulter having vaulted 5.30m at the World Indoor Championships in Valencia this season – he got the silver medal in that heptathlon competition. The 90cm difference in personal bests would be 270 points in one event only between Kasyanov and Krauchanka and there is only 33 points separating the two athletes.
Trey Hardee (USA) was left with another disappointing result 43.55m in the discus and has the 4th place at the moment with 6114 points. The American has to do wonders to catch Krauchanka because the Belarussian is better in every one of the three remaining events and is already 25 points ahead after seven events. Maurice Smith (JAM), silver medallist at the Osaka World Championships last summer, had a quiet start but has now gained some points and is in 5th place with 6070 points following a 50.91m discus result. But this will be temporary for the Jamaican who will be going down in the placings in the remaining three events, his pole vault and javelin are not among the best in the field.
Cuban Leonel Suárez is still fighting for the medals with 6008 points in 6th place. Although he is already 131 points behind the bronze medal at the moment, he is a decent pole vaulter and a very good javelin thrower (70m) and one of the best 1500m runners (4:21). If the Cuban does well in the pole vault, he will be fighting for a medal in the last two events. World record holder and reigning Olympic champion Roman Sebrle (CZE) threw 45.50m and has 5974p in 8th place. The Czech will add several hundred points to his season’s best score, but it will not be enough to fight for a medal this time.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF