Ashton Eaton – USA’s Hercule
Ashton Eaton set in Beijing a new decathlon world record, improving his own mark with 6 points. The 27 years old American acquired a total of 9,045 points, being the second man in history to break the 9,000 points barrier in decathlon. Ashton Eaton hold both the world record for decathlon and the world record for indoor heptathlon.
Ashton showed immense potential for track & field disciplines from an early age. Young Ashton was very competitive in American football, basketball, running, football and wrestling. Eaton started participating in the grueling probes of heptathlon and decathlon in 2006. He debuted professionally in 2008, but could not manage to qualify for Beijing Olympics (he finished fifth in the trials). Since 2008, Ashton Eaton managed to win the NCAA Championship in decathlon in 2008, 2009 and 2010 with 8,055, 8,241 and 8,457. The American finished 18th in decathlon at 2009 World Championships. Moreover, Ashton Eaton won the heptathlon at the NCAA Championships in 2009 and 2010 and set a new indoor heptathlon world record with a a top score of 6,499 points. In 2012, Eaton turned all his Herculean training into total dominance, winning the World Indoor World Championships and setting a new indoor world record in heptathlon (6,645 points). In the Olympic trials, Ashton Eaton set a new world record in decathlon (9.039 points). His performances in different events were very similar to the ones that were competing only in those events (for instance Eaton’s 100 m race result was .03 seconds short of the time needed to qualify in this event for Olympics; while in the long jump he would have had the second best result among the competition). Ashton Eaton won with ease 2012 London Summer Olympics with a total of 8,869 points (almost 200 points lead). The American continued to dominate these grueling events and won another gold medal in decathlon at 2013 World Championships. However, he decided not participate so frequently in decathlon events and save his energy and his body for the next cycle 2015-2017 (World Championships – Olympics – World Championships). He won another gold medal in heptathlon at 2014 Indoor World Championships. The American Hercules decided not to participate in any combined events in 2014 in order to have a period of rest and preserve his body for the coming cycle.
After almost two seasons in which the American combined-eventer did not participate in any decathlon, Ashton Eaton amazed the entire world in 2015 Beijing World Championships, in which he won another gold medal and improved his own world record (9,045 points). Eaton demonstrated again that he has no opposition by setting a new world championship record in 100 m dash (10.23 seconds) and set a decathlon world record in 400 m race (45.00 – improving his own world record with .68 seconds). What is more impressive is the fact that Eaton’s 400 m result would have granted him a seventh place in the actual 400 m race. Ashton Eaton entered in the final event, 1500 m, knowing that he needs to finish in less than 4:18.25. He crossed the finish line second, in 4:17.52 and he set a new world record in decathlon. But he could not enjoy this magnificent achievement, the images showing him very tired after such a terrible effort.
The American is one of the few decathlon athletes that excels in track and has good performances in field as well, not the other way around as it is typical for most decathletes to be “field” guys. As it was already noted, he performs very well in sprints and long jump and he has decent results in the rest of the field events. Some specialists stated that Ashton Eaton can even reach to an incredible total of 9,200 points if he improves a bit his performances in some of the field events.
For sure, Ashton Eaton is a modern-days Hercules and the most complete athlete of all times. We usually say about the sprinters that they are the best athletes ever, and we used such titles to name Carl Lewis, Usain Bolt or Jesse Owens, but these amazing guys perform well in one or two events. How can we compare these guys with Ashton Eaton who manages to be the best after 10 events in just 2 days?! Eaton is undoubtedly the most complete and the best athlete of all times.