Stop Us If You’ve Heard This Before: Ashton Eaton Breaks the World Record, Usain Bolt Completes the Triple and the U.S. Botches a Handoff

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By LetsRun.com
August 29, 2015

BEIJING — Ashton Eaton closed out his first decathlon in two years by submitting the greatest performance in the history of the event, scoring 9045 points to break his own world record by six points on day eight of the 2015 IAAF World Championships. One hour later, track and field’s biggest star added another line to his extremely long resume as Usain Bolt anchored Jamaica to victory in the 4×100-meter relay to complete his fifth (!) 100-200-4×100 triple at a global championship. The U.S. once again struggled to perform in a high-profile race as Tyson Gay and Mike Rodgers botched the final exchange and only got it done outside the zone, causing the U.S. to be disqualified, after they initially crossed the finish line comfortably in second place, erasing the medal all together and an opportunity to beat Bolt and the Jamaicans as the US was significantly ahead until the last handoff.  o

In other events, Jamaica swept the short relays by winning the women’s 4×100 in a championship-record 41.07, and there were also wins by Russia’s Maria Kuchina in the high jump (2.01m) and Poland’s Piotr Malachowski in the discus (67.40). Read on for recaps and links to more coverage.

Men’s Decathlon: Eaton Powers Home in 1500 to Set a New World Record

After his astounding 45.00 400 in the final event of day 1, Eaton was just off world record pace, but he picked up a little ground in the 110 hurdles (13.69 vs. 13.70 in his WR) and more in the discus (43.34m vs. 42.81) before losing a little in the pole vault (5.20 vs. 5.30). If there was one area where Eaton really could improve compared to his 2012 world record, it was in the javelin (Eaton’s PR is 66.64 and he threw only 58.87 during his WR) and by throwing 63.63 meters tonight, Eaton left himself needing a 4:18.25 1500 (or better) for the world record (68.667 per lap, his best is 4:14.48 from his WR).

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Eaton went out conservatively, reaching 800 in 2:22 in second place behind Algeria’s Larbi Bourrada. Bourrada began to pull away on the third lap (Eaton hit 1200 in 3:32.1) but on the backstretch of the bell lap Eaton began to press, upping the pace noticeably. He reached 1300 needing right around 30-flat for his last 200 to get the record, and Eaton used all of his remaining strength to sprint as hard as he could. He gained back a few meters on Bourrada, as the two strived for the finish line.

The clock ticked upwards. 4:14…4:15…4:16…Bourrada crossed the line…4:17…and there was Eaton!

His time was 4:17.52, good enough to break his world record by six points, but when Eaton crossed the finish line, his first instinct was not to celebrate, but rather to collapse to the track in a heap as the strain of ten events in two days took its toll on his body. Eventually, he picked himself up, hurdled a few last barriers (slowly, carefully this time) and embraced his wife, Brianne Theisen-Eaton (herself the silver medalist in the heptathlon).

Ashton Eaton 9045Heading into these championships, Eaton was already the greatest decathlete the world had ever seen. Now it’s all about Eaton’s legacy, about seeing how he matches up with Bolt, Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps — and make no mistake, Eaton is that good.

Right now, he’s got two world outdoor titles, two world indoor titles, one Olympic title, and holds the world records in both the decathlon (which he’s broken twice) and indoor heptathlon (which he’s broken three times). And he’s still only 27.

Eaton should win the Olympics next year (joining Bob Mathias and Daley Thompson as the only men to to win multiple Olympic titles) and the only question after that is whether he continues to dominate the decathlon or tries to add to his greatness by tackling an additional individual event. We’d love to see Eaton try something like the 400 hurdles (remember, he ran 48.69 and almost won a Diamond League event last year) in addition to the decathlon at a future Worlds.

Afterwards we spoke to Eaton (video below) and his coach Harry Marra (audio only). Eaton admitted being a bit gassed heading into the 1500, but said he had to go after the world record for everyone who believes in him.

Eaton After 45.00 400

Eaton After 45.00 400

“I have a lot of people who believe in me [and as a result] I have to go [for the record]… Really I was just thinking about sitting on the couch when I was little, watching someone like Michael Johnson or Carl Lewis jump or run and that is the reason I’m here today. Maybe there is a kid on the coach somewhere and if I break the world record they may be inspired to do something or get excited,” Eaton said.

Marra also said Eaton does not compete for himself, he does it for others. Once Marra saw the wave going around the stadium during the 1500, he said it was a good sign for Eaton’s chances because he would not want to let the fans down.

Eaton is one of the more interesting and reflective athletes in the sport. He talked about the decathlon almost as an art form. “I don’t really do this for myself. I use track and field for my expression for my belief that you should always (pauses) I don’t know. I think the point of life is to just try and improve. Get inspired to do something and then try and do it better.”

Eaton and Marra Talk About 45.00
On the 45.00 400, Eaton said, “That shocked me.” He said when he crossed the line, “The two things I thought are ‘The clocks off and I must be disqualified because I went into lane 6.’”

Neither of those things were true.

Marra reiterated a point he made when he spoke at an Oregon Track Club event earlier this year — he makes sure never to put any limits on what his athletes can do or think is possible. So he does not know what Eaton’s limit is in the decathlon or the 400.

In the audio clip below, Marra talks about Eaton’s 1500 training, his 800 pr, and more. Marra also said he is employed by the Oregon Track Club, not Ashton Eaton. We said it can’t be a coincidence that two of the best multi-eventers in the world happen to train under him, he must be a good coach and deserves a pay raise. He joked we should tell Vin Lananna that. Vin are you reading this?

The philosophical Eaton had one more piece of advice for people that he takes into the decathlon, “I’m the type of person who always tries.”

Eaton video:

Marra audio here

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY Points 100 Metres Long Jump Shot Put High Jump 400 Metres 110 Metres Hurdles Discus Throw Pole Vault Javelin Throw 1500 Metres
1 Ashton Eaton USA USA 9045 WR Points
Mark
Wind m/s
1040
10.23
-0.4
1030
7.88
0.0
760
14.52
813
2.01
1060
45.00
1015
13.69
-0.2
733
43.34
972
5.20
793
63.63
829
4:17.52
2 Damian Warner CAN CAN 8695 NR Points
Mark
Wind m/s
1020
10.31
-0.4
972
7.65
+0.2
755
14.44
840
2.04
943
47.30
1023
13.63
-0.2
767
44.99
849
4.80
791
63.50
735
4:31.51
3 Rico Freimuth GER GER 8561 PB Points
Mark
Wind m/s
973
10.51
-0.4
937
7.51
+0.5
820
15.50
758
1.95
918
47.82
986
13.91
-0.2
874
50.17
849
4.80
747
60.61
699
4:37.05
4 Ilya Shkurenev RUS RUS 8538 PB Points
Mark
Wind m/s
858
11.01
-0.7
935
7.50
+0.5
734
14.09
896
2.10
915
47.88
940
14.27
-0.2
757
44.53
972
5.20
753
60.99
778
4:24.98
5 Larbi Bourrada ALG ALG 8461 AR Points
Mark
Wind m/s
899
10.83
-0.2
937
7.51
+0.6
712
13.73
868
2.07
929
47.60
941
14.26
-1.0
696
41.53
849
4.80
795
63.82
835
4:16.61
6 Kai Kazmirek GER GER 8448 Points
Mark
Wind m/s
883
10.90
-0.2
910
7.40
+0.2
745
14.27
896
2.10
967
46.83
925
14.39
0.0
666
40.08
972
5.20
776
62.55
708
4:35.61
7 Michael Schrader GER GER 8418 Points
Mark
Wind m/s
910
10.78
-0.4
987
7.71
+0.1
748
14.32
758
1.95
952
47.12
950
14.19
-0.2
758
44.58
790
4.60
769
62.09
796
4:22.30
8 Kurt Felix GRN GRN 8302 NR Points
Mark
Wind m/s
856
11.02
-0.7
975
7.66
+1.4
791
15.02
896
2.10
820
49.89
901
14.58
-0.2
786
45.95
760
4.50
789
63.41
728
4:32.57
9 Oleksiy Kasyanov UKR UKR 8262 SB Points
Mark
Wind m/s
922
10.73
-0.2
955
7.58
-0.1
744
14.25
813
2.01
903
48.13
980
13.96
0.0
784
45.84
849
4.80
579
49.35
733
4:31.80
10 Maicel Uibo EST EST 8245 Points
Mark
Wind m/s
806
11.25
-0.5
845
7.13
+0.1
756
14.45
925
2.13
804
50.24
848
15.01
-0.2
740
43.69
941
5.10
806
64.51
774
4:25.53
11 Adam Sebastian Helcelet CZE CZE 8234 SB Points
Mark
Wind m/s
841
11.09
-0.5
883
7.29
+0.6
808
15.30
840
2.04
830
49.66
949
14.20
0.0
724
42.90
880
4.90
784
63.07
695
4:37.65
12 Pieter Braun NED NED 8114 Points
Mark
Wind m/s
836
11.11
-0.7
883
7.29
+0.2
722
13.90
840
2.04
898
48.24
927
14.37
0.0
707
42.09
880
4.90
692
56.95
729
4:32.46
13 Bastien Auzeil FRA FRA 8093 Points
Mark
Wind m/s
812
11.22
-0.7
876
7.26
+0.8
813
15.38
813
2.01
877
48.66
885
14.71
-1.0
718
42.63
941
5.10
665
55.14
693
4:37.92
14 Thomas van der Plaetsen BEL BEL 8035 SB Points
Mark
Wind m/s
765
11.44
-0.5
915
7.42
+1.2
718
13.83
925
2.13
802
50.28
879
14.76
-1.0
726
43.01
1004
5.30
666
55.23
635
4:47.38
15 Zach Ziemek USA USA 8006 Points
Mark
Wind m/s
903
10.81
-0.4
952
7.57
+0.3
690
13.38
840
2.04
820
49.89
815
15.29
-0.2
750
44.19
972
5.20
685
56.50
579
4:56.66
16 Akihiko Nakamura JPN JPN 7745 Points
Mark
Wind m/s
892
10.86
-0.4
876
7.26
+0.5
586
11.67
758
1.95
918
47.81
884
14.72
0.0
533
33.48
819
4.70
642
53.57
837
4:16.36
17 Pawel Wiesiolek POL POL 7705 Points
Mark
Wind m/s
845
11.07
-0.7
833
7.08
+0.4
698
13.50
785
1.98
883
48.55
871
14.82
-1.0
696
41.55
760
4.50
649
54.08
685
4:39.31
18 Pau Tonnesen ESP ESP 7606 Points
Mark
Wind m/s
804
11.26
-0.5
864
7.21
+0.3
712
13.74
840
2.04
804
50.24
835
15.12
-0.2
773
45.28
849
4.80
744
60.42
381
5:33.73
19 Janek Õiglane EST EST 7581 Points
Mark
Wind m/s
750
11.51
-0.5
762
6.78
0.0
755
14.43
731
1.92
771
50.95
810
15.33
-1.0
684
40.94
790
4.60
867
68.51
661
4:43.06
20 Keisuke Ushiro JPN JPN 7532 Points
Mark
Wind m/s
750
11.51
-0.5
750
6.73
+0.9
785
14.93
705
1.89
776
50.85
798
15.43
-0.2
805
46.85
819
4.70
686
56.52
658
4:43.51
21 Jorge Ureña ESP ESP 6858 Points
Mark
Wind m/s
863
10.99
-0.7
886
7.30
+1.0
651
12.74
813
2.01
853
49.17
922
14.41
0.0
568
35.20
0
NM
636
53.17
666
4:42.21
22 Niels Pittomvils BEL BEL 6678 Points
Mark
Wind m/s
776
11.39
-0.5
781
6.86
+0.4
653
12.77
731
1.92
840
49.45
839
15.09
-0.2
663
39.90
0
NM
633
52.96
762
4:27.40

Men’s 4×100 Relay: Jamaica Wins Again as the USA Flubs Another Handoff

When the U.S. beat Jamaica in the 4×100 at the World Relays in May, there looked to be some hope that the Americans could claim their first World Championship title since 2007. With four 100-meter finalists (Trayvon Bromell in for Ryan Bailey was the only change to the World Relays-winning team) to Jamaica’s two, the U.S. was in good position, though Jamaica ran faster in this morning’s prelims (37.41 to 37.91).

And through two legs tonight, it looked like the U.S. could repeat its World Relays success as Bromell (despite coming to a set position less than a half-second before the gun) and Justin Gatlin gave the U.S. a nice lead. Nickel Ashmeade ate into the lead on leg 3, setting up an epic final leg between Mike Rodgers and Bolt, but Rodgers would never get the chance. He couldn’t connect with Gay on their first attempt and by the time Gay finally forked the stick over, they were well outside the exchange zone, the Americans’ gold medal hopes ruined as Bolt streaked to yet another gold on the Bird’s Nest track..

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK Reaction Time
1 JAM Jamaica JAM JAM 37.36 WL 0.139
2 CHN PR of China CHN CHN 38.01 0.157
3 CAN Canada CAN CAN 38.13 0.149
4 GER Germany GER GER 38.15 SB 0.147
5 FRA France FRA FRA 38.23 0.166
6 ANT Antigua & Barbuda ANT ANT 38.61 0.143
USA United States USA USA DQ R170.7 0.174
GBR Great Britain & N.I. GBR GBR DNF 0.134

It was the latest in a string of failures for the U.S. men’s 4×100. At last year’s World Relays, USA failed to make it out of the prelims after a handoff outside the zone. At the 2011 Worlds, Darvis Patton collided with Great Britain’s Harry Aikines-Aryeetey as Team USA wound up a DNF. In 2009, the U.S. again passed outside the zone at Worlds, while in the 2008 Olympics, the Americans dropped the baton.

In the two meets since 2008 where the U.S. actually finished with a valid result (the U.S. was stripped of silver at the 2012 Olympics after Tyson Gay’s drug positive), it beat the Jamaicans just once, at this year’s World Relays (which isn’t as important as Worlds or the Olympics). Fans have been frustrated with the Americans’ relay results for years, and apparently Carl Lewis is one of them.

The U.S.’s struggles promoted China to the silver medal, the nation’s first-ever World Champs relay medal (men’s or women’s, 4×100 or 4×400). The crowd erupted when China popped up on the scoreboard in third place and unleashed another roar midway through their victory lap upon the promotion to silver. Not a bad birthday present for third leg Su Biangtian, whom the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to after the race. The Chinese only were upgraded to silver  after the US had done it’s ‘victory’ lap. Canada ended up with the bronze

We’ve got the results of Saturday’s other finals below, with links to IAAF recaps.

Women’s 4×100: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Anchors Jamaica to Win in Championship-Record Time

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK Reaction Time
1 JAM Jamaica JAM JAM 41.07 CR 0.164
2 USA United States USA USA 41.68 SB 0.140
3 TTO Trinidad and Tobago TTO TTO 42.03 NR 0.145
4 GBR Great Britain & N.I. GBR GBR 42.10 NR 0.136
5 GER Germany GER GER 42.64 SB 0.180
6 CAN Canada CAN CAN 43.05 0.158
NED Netherlands NED NED DQ R170.7 0.164
RUS Russia RUS RUS DNF 0.204

Women’s high jump: Maria Kuchina Wins on Countbacks as Three Women Jump 2.01

Male fan favorite Blanka Vlašic was dancing after her first attempt clearance at 2.01 but Russian Maria Kuchina matched it and got the gold. Vlasic hadn’t cleared 2.01 since 2011 so silver was far from a disappointment for her (2.08 pb).

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK DETAIL 1.88 1.92 1.95 1.97 1.99 2.01 2.03
1 726 Maria Kuchina RUS RUS 2.01 PB O O O O O O XXX
2 284 Blanka Vlašic CRO CRO 2.01 SB O XO O O O O XXX
3 716 Anna Chicherova RUS RUS 2.01 O O XO O XO XXX
4 673 Kamila Licwinko POL POL 1.99 O O O O O XXX
5 321 Ruth Beitia ESP ESP 1.99 O O XO O O XXX
6 431 Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch GER GER 1.99 PB O O O X- XO XXX
7 588 Jeanelle Scheper LCA LCA 1.92 O O XXX
8 130 Eleanor Patterson AUS AUS 1.92 XO O XXX
9 934 Svetlana Radzivil UZB UZB 1.88 O XXX
9 281 Ana Šimic CRO CRO 1.88 O XXX
9 195 Mirela Demireva BUL BUL 1.88 O XXX
12 629 Doreen Amata NGR NGR 1.88 XO XXX
12 589 Levern Spencer LCA LCA 1.88 XO XXX

Men’s discus: Piotr Malachowski Earns His First World Title

POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK DETAIL Attempt 1 Attempt 2 Attempt 3 Attempt 4 Attempt 5 Attempt 6
1 802 Piotr Malachowski POL POL 67.40 65.09 67.40 62.04 64.40 64.59 64.84
2 226 Philip Milanov BEL BEL 66.90 NR 60.06 64.38 66.90 X 62.32 65.67
3 811 Robert Urbanek POL POL 65.18 60.47 61.58 64.14 64.62 65.18 X
4 449 Gerd Kanter EST EST 64.82 64.82 63.52 63.95 64.01 64.65 X
5 921 Daniel Ståhl SWE SWE 64.73 SB 61.74 60.42 64.42 64.73 X X
6 386 Apostolos Parellis CYP CYP 64.55 63.20 64.55 63.63 63.46 64.39 62.66
7 623 Fedrick Dacres JAM JAM 64.22 64.22 59.80 X 62.74 61.73 X
8 553 Christoph Harting GER GER 63.94 63.94 63.55 X X X X
9 592 Vikas Gowda IND IND 62.24 60.28 X 62.24
10 175 Benn Harradine AUS AUS 62.05 58.15 X 62.05
11 359 Mauricio Ortega COL COL 62.01 13.10 X 62.01
12 184 Julian Wruck AUS AUS 60.01 59.74 60.01 56.78

 


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