Eaton overcomes fatigue to claim world record

Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:08am EDT
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BEIJING, (Reuters) - American Ashton Eaton retained the decathlon world title in the Bird's Nest Stadium on Saturday, breaking his own world record by scoring 9,045 points. After just five hours sleep, however, the 27-year-old admitted he had doubts over whether he could break the record.

In the 10th and last discipline, the 1,500 meters, he needed the help of one of his rivals to drag him around the final lap in a fast enough time.

Competing in his first decathlon for two years, Eaton had to run four minutes 18.25 seconds to score the 824 points required to break the world record.

"I knew with 300 meters to go that I was behind, and I said, 'Oh crap! I better go'," Eaton told reporters.

"I could see the Algerian Larbi (Bouraada) in front of me and I used him. I could tell, he sped up. I caught up again and he sped up again. So I thank him for that."

Eaton stopped the clock at 4:17.52 to score 829 points and break his old mark, set in 2012, by six points.

The silver medal went to Canada's Damian Warner with a national record 8,695 points and Rico Freimuth of Germany took bronze with 8,561.

There had been little doubt through the second day that Eaton would win gold and it was all about whether he could better the record.

The Olympic gold medalist had run 45.00 seconds in the 400 meters on Friday, the fastest ever by a decathlete during a multi-event.   Continued...

Ashton Eaton of the U.S. gestures as he competes in the javelin throw event of the men's decathlon during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China, August 29, 2015.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach