Clay shows that you can’t judge a book by its cover

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Bryan Clay throwing the Discus

I was looking over the results from the USA NationalChampionships again and of all the great performances one of the most amazing is perhaps also the most easily overlooked. Bryan Clay, OlympicSilver Medalist in the 2004 Decathlon set a world record in the decathlon discus. The decathlon discus you say? Who cares about that?Well consider for a moment the magnitude of Clay’s feet. He threw the platter an incredible 55.87m (183’3). While this mark alone would rank him just below elite status in the discus, the mark is especially astounding when you think that it was achieved by an athlete whose true event also calls for them to be able to sprint, hurdle and jump. What makes it even more mind-boggling is the guy who did it. Contrary to the preconceived images most of us have about what a 55m discus thrower is supposed to look like, Clay breaks the mold. Bryan is no taller than5’9 and can’t weigh more than 180 pounds. Did I mention that Clay also set the record with a broken rib.


Lett, NCAA Decathlon Discus Record Holder

In my time at LSUI’ve had the pleasure of working with two of the better discus throwing decathletes in the world in Claston Bernard and Alleyne Lett. In fact,just several weeks ago, Alleyne set the NCAA decathlon discus record with a throw of 53.28m (174’10). Both Claston and Alleyne stand over6’5 with the wing spans of 7 footers. These guys are physical specimens. No one in their right mind would ever suspect that the unassuming Clay could beat either of them at anything, much less a throwing event where height and wingspan are extremely advantageous. Asa former undersized decathlete myself, I’ve got to give the utmost respect to Bryan Clay, the proverbial David (as in David and Goliath)of the Track & Field world.

Mike Young

Mike Young

Founder of ELITETRACK at Athletic Lab
Mike has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University, an MSS in Coaching Science from Ohio University & a PhD in Biomechanics from LSU. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Level 3 coach by USA Track & Field, a Level 2 coach by USA Weightlifting.
Mike Young

@mikeyoung

@AthleticLab Owner. Fitness coach for @NorthCarolinaFC & @TheNCCourage. Former MLS Fitness Coach. Sport Scientist. Entrepreneur. Coach Educator.
6 reasons why all athletes should #sprint: https://t.co/nuZR8FQQFX #speed #trackandfield - 7 hours ago
Mike Young
Mike Young
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