The Czech Republic’s Roman Sebrle edged American Bryan Clay in a high-scoring competition at the 2004 Olympics. Clay turned the tables in 2008, with Sebrle settling for sixth place at the Beijing Games. Sebrle turned 35 late in 2009 and is past his prime, but he still managed to finish 11th at the World Championships and third in the heptathlon at the European Indoor Championships.
A narrow escape:
Sebrle’s career – or life – could’ve taken a turn for the worse in 2007 when he wandered too close to a javelin practice and was hit in his right shoulder. Luckily, the javelin narrowly missed doing serious damage to his neck, lung or the interior of his shoulder. The cut required just 11 stitches to repair.
Sebrle and Clay became close friends off the track. The two decathletes and their families have spent time together in the off-season. In their biggest competitions prior to 2008, Sebrle defeated Clay in Athens while Clay topped Sebrle to win the 2005 World Championship.
Sebrle set the world decathlon record in 2001, scoring 9026 points to top fellow Czech Tomas Dvorak’s previous mark of 8994. Sebrle won the 2007 World Championships after placing second at both the 2003 and 2005 World Outdoors. He also earned a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics.
- Height: 6-1
- Weight: 190
- Birth date: November 26, 1974
- Hometown: Prague, Czech Republic
- World Championships: One