New decathlon world record set
Mon, 25 Jun 2012 4:21a.m.
American Ashton Eaton employed the "magic" of his home stadium to set a decathlon world record at the U.S. Olympic athletics trials.
The 24-year-old's total of 9,039 points improved on Czech Roman Sebrle's 2001 mark by 13 points, an achievement made more stunning by the rainy and cold conditions over the two days of the decathlon competition at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field.
"The emotions come out. It's so hard to explain. I really, really truly love this event," Eaton said afterwards.
The sense of occasion was heightened by the presence of many of the United States' greatest decathletes, including Dan O'Brien, Bruce Jenner and Rafer Johnson, who were at the trials to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Olympic decathlon.
The weather provided an obstacle but Eaton won seven of the 10 events for a massive 646-point victory over world champion Trey Hardee, wiping out O'Brien's 1992 national record of 8,891 points in the process.
He had already set the best ever marks in decathlon for the 100 metres and long jump legs on Friday and capped off the competition with a gutsy 1,500 metres.
"It just always comes down to that 15 [1500m] no matter what you do," he says.
Eaton will head to London in a powerful decathlon duo with runner-up and world champion Trey Hardee, but Olympic champion Bryan Clay's hopes of defending his title were shattered.
Clay found trouble in the 110 metres hurdles and discus legs of the 10-event competition to finish 12th.
"Great day for those guys, rough day for me," a dejected Clay told reporters.
Dawn Harper ensured she will defend her gold medal at London, however, after winning the 100 hurdles with a time of 12.73 seconds, edging runner-up Kellie Wells and third-placed Lolo Jones.
World champion Carmelita Jeter stormed to victory in the women's 100 in 10.92 seconds to top Tianna Madison, who ran 10.97.
Third place and the last spot on the team in 100-metres finished in a dead heat after Jeneba Tarmoh and three-times world 200 champion Allyson Felix tied with a time of exactly 11.068.
"The photo finish image, which was shot at 3000 frames per second, was then anaylzed by timers and referees and unanimously ruled to be a dead heat based on the visual evidence. Tarmoh and Felix are both officially timed in 11.086 seconds," a U.S. spokesperson announced before adding that the next course of action had yet to be determined.
The trials continue through July 1.
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