O'Brien wins wet decathlon

June 17, 1995|By Mike Preston

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Dan O'Brien's assault on a decathlon world record was washed and blown away with the rains and strong winds Thursday night and early yesterday morning.

The second coldest June 15 in more than a century here forced the cancellation of several preliminary events and stretched out the pole-vault section of the decathlon for 6 1/2 hours.

The second day of the decathlon began Thursday afternoon at 3 and didn't end until 2:45 yesterday morning.

O'Brien won the event with 8,682 points, the best score in the world this year and slightly off the world-record mark of 8,891 he scored in 1992.

But because of the rain and 20-mph winds, O'Brien decided not to risk an injury after clearing his opening height of 15 feet, 9 inches in the pole vault.

Chris Huffins was second in the decathlon with a career-best 8,351 and Brian Brophy third with 8,257.

"These are probably the worst conditions I've ever experienced in a decathlon," said O'Brien. "I just wanted to get through it and finish.

"I think I would have had a good chance at the record if it hadn't been for the weather. It was an easy decision for me, but I had to talk my coaches into it. They wanted me to give it one more try, but every time I looked, it just kept pouring."

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