RIO DE JANEIRO – Ashton Eaton is still the world’s greatest athlete. The American star totaled 8,893 points over the 10 events of the decathlon to defend his Olympic title. Eaton’s 8,323 total ties Roman Sebrle’s Olympic record of 8,893 from the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Eaton, 28, is the first man to defend his Olympic title since Great Britain’s Daley Thompson won in 1980 and 1984.
Eaton led the competition after the first day but France’s Kevin Mayer kept him within striking distance headed into the men’s 1,500 meters. Mayer needed to run about six seconds faster than Eaton in the final event but Eaton prevailed as he crossed the finish line in 4:23.33. Mayer of France settled for silver to give France its first medal in the decathlon.
Canada’s Damian Warner improved from his fifth place finish in London to take bronze.
Eaton now owns two Olympic titles and two world championship titles from 2013 and 2015.
Thursday’s total is far from Eaton’s personal best and world record of 9,045 points, which he set at last summer’s world championships in Beijing. He first set the world record at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials where he posted 9,039 points. The two-day contest wraps up a successful Olympics for Eaton and his wife, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who won a bronze medal for Canada in the heptathlon.
Below are Eaton’s marks from his gold-medal winning performance in Rio:
100 meter run - 10.46 seconds (985 points)
Long jump - 7.94 meters (1045 points)
Shot put - 14.73 (773 points)
High jump - 2.01 meters (813 points)
400 meters - 46.07 (1005 points)
110-meter hurdles - 13.80 seconds (1000 points)
Discus - 45.49 meters (777 points)
Pole vault - 5.20 meters (972 points)
Javelin - 59.77 meters (734 points)
1,500 meter run - 4:23.33 (789 points)