Eaton completes family double as U.S. harvest gold

Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:41am EDT
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By Steve Keating

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - American Ashton Eaton successfully defended his world indoor championships heptathlon title on Saturday to complete a husband-and-wife golden double that the couple will aim to repeat at the Rio Olympics.

After Canadian Brianne Theisen-Eaton won the pentathlon on Friday, Eaton followed suit by posting a winning total of 6,470 points, the sixth highest ever to make them the first married couple to win golds at the same world championships.

"I was thinking it doesn't matter what happens to me today," said Eaton, who was born and lives in Portland. "Brianne is the one that stole the show.

"I am really happy about that and proud of her," he added of the Canadian, who finally ended a frustrating run of second-place finishes at major championships.

"I was just finishing it off for the family, finishing it off for the home town crowd."

Eaton's third consecutive world indoor title added to an American gold rush that included a thrilling victory for Barbara Pierre in the women's 60 meters, the 28-year-old clocking 7.02 to pip Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers by 0.02 seconds.

With one day remaining in the championships, the U.S. is the runaway leader at the top of the medal table with 15, including eight golds. No other country has more than one gold or three medals.

The hosts have also benefited from Russia's absence after the traditional powerhouse were banned from international competition when a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) investigation uncovered evidence of what it termed state-sponsored doping.   Continued...

Gold medalist Ashton Eaton of the U.S. reacts after winning the men's heptathlon at the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in Portland, Oregon March 19, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson