Eatons target a golden first in Beijing

Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:32am EDT
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By Gene Cherry

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - After just two years of marriage, Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton are hoping this month to enjoy what most couples wait 50 years for -- a very special golden celebration.

American Eaton is the world record holder in the decathlon, while Canadian Theisen-Eaton is the favorite for heptathlon at the Aug. 22-30 world championships in Beijing.

Should they both succeed in winning gold in their grueling events, they will become the first married couple to win multi-event competitions in the same global championship.

"I think there is a good chance for this husband and wife team," multi-event expert Frank Zarnowski told Reuters.

"Ashton is a pretty safe bet to win," Zarnowski said via email. "I think Brianne can win but it'll be closer."

Married in 2013, the couple have excelled under multi-events coach Harry Marra in Eugene, Oregon, where they both attended university.

From a 2011 world silver medal, Ashton Eaton has soared to the highest decathlon score ever, 9,039 points, at the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials.

He also has three world records in the indoor heptathlon to go with his London Olympic victory, the 2013 world championship and global indoor heptathlon gold medals from 2012 and 2014.   Continued...

Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Canada competes in the women's Heptathlon Javelin Throw at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, in this July 30, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/Files