Rico Freimuth in the mens Decathlon at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 (© Getty Images)
Ashton Eaton enjoyed an almost-perfect Decathlon Discus competition and a 45.00m result is good enough to keep the competition record of 8902 by Tomas Dvorak from Edmonton 2001 still in his sights.
There was no scare in this event for the US champion as he threw a solid 44.35m with his first attempt and is now leading the Decathlon with 6280 after seven events.
He needs a result in the region of 5.20m-5.30m in the Pole Vault to attack the championship record, but anything in the region of 4.80m-4.90m would be good enough to keep him far enough ahead of the others.
German Michael Schrader, who has been in second place, had a near disaster in the Discus. The 26-year-old had a best of just 43.49m, but then produced a 46.44m personal best with his last throw for 6161 points, consolidating his silver medal position.
Compatriot Rico Freimuth topped the Discus with a 48.74m throw and is in third place with 6127 at this stage. The 25-year-old needs to match his 4.90m personal best from London and then go over 60 metres in the Javelin – which he hasn’t done since 2011 – if he wants to stay in this position.
Canadian Damian Warner is in fourth place and was slightly disappointed with a 44.13m Discus result, which gives him 6110 for fourth place, marginally ahead of his 8441 PB series from the 2012 Olympics.
The surprise name of this Decathlon, USA’s 20-year-old Gunnar Nixon, is still hanging on in fifth place with 6108 and he set his fourth personal best of the competition with 42.38m in the Discus.
Brazilian Carlos Chinin is in sixth with 6003 and Pascal Behrenbruch now seventh with 5954. The German European champion threw 45.66m Discus and has now fallen a bit back in the fight for the medals. He needs at least 5.00m in the Pole Vault if he wants to win a medal here.
Belarusian Andrei Krauchanka is eighth with 5952 and South Africa’s Willem Coertzen ninth with 5924. Coertzen is more than a hundred points ahead of his 8244 personal best and is looking for a place in the top eight.
As usual in the Decathlon, there are always athletes who dramatically rise in the last three events. One such athlete is Eelco Sintnicolaas of the Netherlands, who is in 10th place with 5918, more than 200 points behind a medal position, but he is still a medal favourite here, should he perform to his usual standard in the last three events.
The next event, the Pole Vault, is his specialty and he has cleared 5.40m in a Decathlon this season. He is also a decent javelin thrower, but needs to better his season’s best of 58.35m and get closer to his PB of 63.59m from last summer.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF