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Bryan Clay pushes over a hurdle during the 100m hurdles in the decathlon competition at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Saturday, June 23, 2012, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Glendora's gold medal decathlete Bryan Clay fell short in his bid to become the first American to win three Olympic medals in the event.
Clay stumbled in the 110-meter hurdles event at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Saturday in Eugene, Ore. Clay, who won gold at the 2008 Bejing Olympics, needed to finish in the top three and meet the Olympic A standard of 8,200 points.
Clay sat on the outside lane of the track after the 110-meter hurdles, holding his hands to his face. He continued to compete in the remaining events.
"As much as I didn’t want to, there was no other option," Clay said after the event. "I want to be the best role model, and the worst thing you can do as a role model is quit."
He was among the first to congratulate Ashton Eaton after the 1,500-meters. Eaton set a world record in the decathlon with 9,039.
“It’s unbelievable. I don’t know if anyone has matured in the event as quickly as he did," Clay said of Eaton. "It’s mind-boggling.
"It was fun to be part of what Ashton had going on."
Clay earned the silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Clay, 32, talked with NBCLA.com in April about finding motivation for London 2012 after already having reached the top of his sport. He had a winning mark in 2008 that was 240 ahead of the silver medalist -- the largest winning margin at the Olympics since 1972.
Clay graduated from Azusa Pacific University in 2002. He still works out and mentors students at the school's track facility.