The Olympic Decathlon is often said to decide the title of “World’s Greatest Athlete,” and the United States decathlete Ashton Eaton has cemented legacy with a second Decathlon gold tying the Olympic record of 8893 points after 10 energy-sapping events.
The 28-year-old from Oregon holds the world record in both the decathlon and indoor heptathlon events, and is the second decathlete to break the 9,000-point barrier, with 9,039 points. Competing at Rio 2016 was not an easy ride for him as he was coming off a calf injury that made the Summer Games a more gruelling test. Being married to an Olympian, Ashton drew inspiration from his wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Canada who won the heptathlon gold at 2014 Commonwealth games.
The three-time World Indoor Champion and a two-time World Outdoor Champion, Ashton Eaton has become only the third decathlete ever, and the first since Great Britain’s Daley Thompson in 1984, to repeat as champion in the Olympics’ most gruelling physical test and retain the title of world’s greatest athlete.
The decathlon, known as the ultimate all-around test, with 10 events spanning the range of track and field disciplines spanning two long days tested the Americans fitness and grit to win a record second consecutive gold while setting an Olympic record. Eaton won two of the 10 events – the long jump and 400m – and finished second in the 100m and 110m hurdles. The final event of the Decathlon was the 1500m race in which the champ was to cross the line within six seconds of young Frenchman Kevin Mayer who took the silver.
“My team, my coach, the whole United States, my wife, my family, everyone that was behind me all these years, this was for them,” Eaton said after the victory. “It wasn’t hard to keep going.”
Ashton Eaton has confirmed his status at the dominant decathlete of his time with the Rio Olympics 2016 gold.