March 13, 2016 / 2:03 AM / 2 years ago

Freakish injury will not slow Eaton's world title bid

(Reuters) - Ashton Eaton’s bid for a third consecutive world indoor heptathlon title will not be affected by a freakish accident that left the American needing six stitches in his head, his coach told Reuters on Saturday.

Aug 30, 2015; Beijing, China; Ashton Eaton (USA) poses with the gold medal and $100,000 check after winning the decathlon with a world record 9,045 points during the IAAF World Championships in Athletics at National Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Eaton was hit on the head by a pole vault crossbar while waiting to start his long jump at Friday’s U.S. championships in Portland. Six stitches were needed to close the wound, the Olympic and world decathlon champion said on Twitter.

“All good,” Harry Marra, Eaton’s long-time trainer, said in a text message.

After a scheduled day off on Saturday, Eaton would be “back at it tomorrow (Sunday),” Marra said of preparations for next week’s IAAF world indoor championships in Portland, Oregon.

Eaton, the heptathlon and decathlon world record holder, said he hoped to get the chance for some revenge on the offending crossbar.

”I hope they use the same crossbar for (the world championships),“ Eaton added. ”Going to pay back with a PV PR (pole vault personal record).

“I‘m still waiting for pictures from when I had blood all over my hands and face.”

The world championships start on Thursday, with the heptathlon scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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