June 20, 2015
Olympic gold medallist and world record holder in the Decathlon Ashton Eaton and his coach Harry Marra addressed the media in advance of next week’s USA championships were Eaton will be trying to win USAs in the long jump.
Before you dismiss the chance of Eaton winning the long jump, realize last year in a year-off from the decathlon he ended up world ranked #6 in the 400m hurdles by Track and Field News.
Marra said a coach should never put limits on what is possible for an athlete, especially Ashton. “I’m never surprised with what Ashton does. I learned long ago you never put limits on anybody, you never tell them they can jump 25 feet or 26 feet. You keep teaching and coaching and let them go,” he said before Eaton said the goal was to win USAs in the long jump. Eaton enters with the 9th best mark in the US in 2015 according to All-Athletics.com.
Eaton said the year of the hurdles in 2014 left him refreshed for 2015 and gave him new found respect for guys who travel the circuit competing every week. He would practice some of the decathlon events last year in practice, but not on a set schedule. He said prior to a recent injury setback he was eyeing a world record attempt in Beijing, even though he said it is harder to set a world record at a Worlds or Olympics because the decathlon is spread out over 12 hours instead of 6 for US meets.
Marra thinks Ashton’s best days are in front of him and called 2014 a success. “We rode back last year at the end of last season (from Europe) and bumped ourselves up to first class and I was eating ice cream sundaes having fun and Ash said ‘I could start training again tomorrow. I’m so refreshed,’ and that was the goal last year,” Marra said.
When talk turned to the Nike Oregon Project doping allegations the thoughtful Eaton had this to say, “I don’t think that I’m going to answer any of these questions because for every doping story there’s 15 stories of athletes who’ve come from nothing to something, to inspire, or to make some sort of connection with somebody. That could be a young kid saying, ‘Hey I’m in the same situation as this person and look at what they do’, look at Andre De Grasse what his story was, coming from nothing… so I’m not going to contribute to take away from this (by discussing the doping allegations).”
When asked by LetsRun.com if he wanted to discuss whether he took any supplements or prescription drugs, the world’s greatest athlete said, “Because of all that I don’t take anything. I think Nyquil is what I take.” There was silence and coach Marra added, “If Ashton was looking for a sponsorship for Flintsone vitamins they wouldn’t touch him, he doesn’t even take Flintstone vitamins.”
The long jump is Thursday night at USAs.