The world’s greatest athlete is a little banged up but remains golden.
Ashton Eaton secured his attempt at history in Rio by winning the decathlon at the U.S. Olympic Trials with a 8,750 point total that's the best in the world this year.
Eaton will try to become the first man to win back-to-back Olympic medals in the event since Daley Thompson of the Great Britain took gold in 1980 and 1984. No American has defended their Olympic decathlon title since Bob Mathias in 1948 and 1952.
Eaton was named the Athlete of the Year for 2015 by the International Association of Athletics Federation, track and field’s governing body, after winning gold at last summer’s world championships in world record fashion. He closed out the 10 events then by running 4:17.72 for 1,500 meters and improved upon his previous world record of 9,039 points, which was set at the 2012 trials. Eaton won gold in London less than eight weeks later with an 8,869 point total.
The 2016 season has not been as spectacular for Eaton as he suffered a quad injury during a meet at the Ostrava Golden Spikes meet in the Czech Republic that cancelled an intriguing race against Usain Bolt. After the first day of competition, Eaton was seen icing his left quad and also felt a little tightness in his hamstring after running 10.34 to win the 100 meters.
He will be joined in Rio by first-time Olympians Zach Ziemek and Jeremy Taiwo.
Trey Hardee, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist, will not be in Rio as he battled a dislocated foot and hamstring injury after the first day but showed up on the second day to try and finish.
Below are Eaton’s results in the 10 events:
100 meters: 10.34 seconds
Long Jump: 7.84 meters
Shot put: 14.04 meters
High jump: 2.00 meters
400 meters: 46.30 seconds
110-meter hurdles: 13.60 seconds
Discus throw: 41. 39 meters
Pole Vault: 5.25 meters
Javelin: 57.84 meters
1,500 meters: 4:25.15