It’s safe to call Ashton Eaton the Greatest Athlete in the World.
The decathlon is easily one of the most—if not the most—challenging sports in the world, and the 24-year-old American is now the gold medalist.
Eaton was already the world-record holder after an incredibly impressive performance during the U.S. Olympic trials, but coming into London, he had to beat teammate Trey Hardee, who took home the gold at the 2011 World Championships.
Mission accomplished (via London 2012):
Eaton and Hardee became the first American duo to win gold and silver in the decathlon since Milt Campbell and Rafer Johnson in 1956.
Let’s take a closer look at this thrilling event.
Day 1 Results
Three of Eaton’s four best events came on Wednesday, so it was not a surprise that he jumped out to a large lead. For a complete look at Day 1’s action, click here.
Day 2 Results
110-Meter High Hurdles
The wire-to-wire action in this one was in Heat 4, where Eaton and Hardee faced off against each other.
Eaton put up an impressive time of 13.56, which usually would be good enough to win the event, but his teammate wasn’t ready to be overshadowed. Hardee, with a personal-best time of 13.54, beat Eaton by a nose. A tiny fraction of a nose.
No one else came close to those two.
It’s a good thing Eaton developed a solid early lead, because discus throw is without a doubt his worst event.
With a toss of 42.53 meters, the young stud finished 22nd in the event out of 27 competitors. He was last in his group.
Hardee, who threw the discus almost six meters further, finished third in the event, gaining some serious ground on his buddy.
It wouldn’t last, though.
Eaton re-gained that ground on Hardee with a jump of 5.20 meters, which placed him third for the event. Hardee’s jump of 4.80 wasn’t bad, but the ninth-place finish essentially eliminated any chance he had of gold.
After a throw of 61.96 meters and a ninth-place finish, Eaton pretty much wrapped things up for good.
The battle for bronze, however, was in high gear at that point. Cuba’s Leonel Suarez, who eventually won the third-place medal, made up his ground in this event with a ridiculous throw of 76.94 meters, which was an Olympic best and almost 10 meters further than the second-place finisher.
In the final event, Eaton coasted to a time of four minutes, 33.59 seconds. He took seventh in the event, finishing the day with 8,869 total points.
He was just 24 points off the Olympic record.
For a look at the complete standings and results, check out london2012.com.
|1||Ashton Eaton||United States||8,869|
|2||Trey Hardee||United States||8,671|
|4||Hans Van Alphen||Belgium||8,447|