Decathlon world record tops heated trials in US
By Jim Slater ,AFP
June 25, 2012, 12:08 am TWN
EUGENE, Oregon -- Ashton Eaton set a world record in the decathlon at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on a wild Saturday that also featured a dead heat for a London Olympic berth in the women's 100 meters.
Eaton scored 9,039 points in the 10-event competition, breaking the old world mark of 9,026 points set by Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic in 2001 and shattering Dan O'Brien's former American record of 8,891 from 1992.
“There are few words to say to describe it,” Eaton said. “To have that score and what I did, it's like I worked so hard to do that. It's hard to explain.
“I like running and jumping. To me, it's my whole world. To do the best I possibly could in my world makes me very happy.”
Eaton made himself the overwhelming favorite for the London Olympics by shaving more than four seconds off his personal best in the 1,500, his fifth event and 10th over two days.
“I knew there might not be another opportunity so I had to make the most of it,” Eaton said.
World champion Carmelita Jeter won the 100m in 10.92 to book her trip to London with Tianna Madison in second, but Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh finished in a dead heat for the third and final Olympic berth in 11.07 seconds.
After Tarmoh had been declared third by .001 of a second, meet officials consulted camera replays and changed the result to a dead heat, leaving USA Track and Field unsure how to break the deadlock for the last London spot.
Reigning Olympic champion Dawn Harper and Lolo Jones, who led at the Beijing final before stumbling over the penultimate hurdle, qualified for London in the 100 hurdles, as did Kellie Wells, who has this year's top U.S. time in the race.
“I am just thrilled to have another shot,” Jones said.
Sanya Richards-Ross, seeking a 200-400 Olympic double with the world's best times of 2012 in both events, advanced to the women's 400m final.
“I don't think I will be beaten,” she said. “I'm the most confident I have ever been at a national championship or Olympic trials.”
Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion who missed the 2008 Olympics with a doping ban, and Tyson Gay, a former world champion coming back after hip surgery, led round one of the men's 100m ahead of Sunday's semi-finals and final.
“A true warrior will go out there and battle in this situation,” Gatlin said after leading all qualifying with a 9.90 run.