Ashton Eaton's new feat: World decathlon champion
Bend's own Olympic gold medalist ticks off last to-do list goal
Central Oregon's Ashton Eaton won the decathlon world championship title Sunday to add to his 2012 London Olympics gold medal.
Eaton had a comfortable lead heading into the final event of the two-day competition and cruised home in the 1,500-meter race to secure his second major title in two years.
The world-record holder collected 8,809 points to finish ahead of Michael Schrader of Germany and Damian Warner of Canada, who both won their first major medals.
Schrader had 8,670 points for silver and Warner 8,512 for bronze.
Americans have won five of the last six decathlon world titles and the last three. Two-time defending champion Trey Hardee dropped out with a hamstring injury Saturday before the end of the first day of competition.
After good performances earlier in the day in the hurdles and discus, Eaton jumped a season best 5.20m/17-0.75 in the pole vault and extended his lead to 181 points.
His third-round javelin throw of 64.83m/212-8, a decathlon PR, virtually assured him of gold, carrying a 168-point lead into the 1500m. A leisurely and careful 4:29.80 gave Eaton a world title to go with his Olympic gold and world record.
Gunnar Nixon (Edmond, Okla.), who was second after day one, finished 13th with a PR of 8312 points. Nixon cleared 4.60m/15-1 in the pole vault, and followed up with a 57.97m/190-2 effort in the javelin and a 4:35.82 in the 1500m.
“It feels good," Eaton said of the victory. "It was the only thing I had left on my list to do. Now I have done everything there is to do in the multi-events."
"I'm very excited just to be able to be here," the University of Oregon and Mountain View High graduate added. "This is what I look forward to, this is what I put in all my training for, and it is good to come away a winner."
"It is always just good to finish with the decathlon guys, they are a great group. Anywhere we compete, whether it is the world championships or the Olympics, it is just really fun to finish with them.”
On Saturday, Eaton ran a blistering 400 meters to regain the lead after the first five events, while defending champion Trey Hardee dropped out with a hamstring injury.
The world-record holder clocked 46.02 seconds to run the fastest decathlon 400 at a world championships, according to the IAAF.
After five events, Eaton held a slim lead of 4,502 points to American Gunnar Nixon's 4,493. Michael Schrader of Germany fell to third with 4,427.
According to The Oregonian, it took a discussion with his coach to snap him out of a minor funk on Saturday.
"The 100 and the 400 went well," Eaton said of the first and last events of the day. "I think I was struggling with motivation in the other three events."
Heading into the 400, Eaton says coach Harry Marra told him to "get your head out of your butt."
Eaton, the world-record holder and former Mountain View High and Oregon Ducks star who trains with Oregon Track Club Elite, responded with a 46.02-second performance in the 400. It was the fastest 400 time of the day by more than 1.5 seconds.
Team USA is at the top of the world championships medal table with two golds and one silver and leads the team scoring ahead of Kenya and Ethiopia.
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