Bryan Clay made an emphatic, if not messy, start, to the day as he extended his lead at the top of the men’s Heptathlon with victory in the 60 metres Hurdles, the first of the final three events of the competition.
With the Pole Vault and 1000 metres to follow, American Clay, who had an overnight lead of 38 from Roman Sebrle, of the Czech Republic, was eager to increase that advantage in a discipline where he was by far the fastest in the field. So eager in fact, that he false-started before Russian Aleksandr Pogorelov did the same.
Third time, no such problems as Clay broke away and it was not only his opponents who had their work cut out. The officials were left to pick up four of the five barriers, which the American had knocked over on his way to winning the race in 7.83.
Konstantin Smirnov, of Russia, was second in a personal best of 8.00 with Estonia’s Kristjan Pogorelov third in 8.01.
Importantly, for Clay, Sebrle was fifth in 8.08, a time worth 962 points which meant the Americans lead was now 101 ahead of him with 4641 to 4540 with Rahnu third in 4465.