US all-round talent Ashton Eaton in his debut 400m hurdles race (Kirby Lee) © Copyright
General News Oslo, Norway

Eaton to make European IAAF Diamond League debut in Oslo

Ashton Eaton, widely regarded as the world’s greatest athlete, will make his Norwegian debut at the ExxonMobil Bislett Games on 11 June in what will be his first appearance at an IAAF Diamond League meeting in European soil.

Eaton is the first decathlete in history to have the world record indoors and outdoors, the world titles indoors and outdoors and the Olympic title.

Like many combined events stars, Eaton is world class in many of the individual events that make up the decathlon, but this year the 26-year-old has decided to take on an extra challenge – the 400m hurdles.

To date, he has contested the event on three occasions and already boasts a personal best of 49.69. But in Oslo he will not have things all his own way. South Africa’s LJ van Zyl is coming back to his best form and this year has been recording his fastest times since taking the bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships.

USA’s sub-48-second runner Johnny Dutch is also in the field, but the patriotic and well-informed Oslo crowd will be encouraging Norwegian record-holder Oyvind Kjerpeset, who could be a medal contender at the European Championships in Zurich later this year.

Organisers for the IAAF

2014 IAAF Diamond League calendar

Doha, QAT – 9 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
Eugene, USA – 31 May
Rome, ITA – 5 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 11 Jun
New York, USA – 14 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 3 Jul
Paris, FRA – 5 Jul
Glasgow, GBR – 11-12 Jul
Monaco, MON – 18 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 21 Aug
Birmingham, GBR – 24 Aug
Zurich, SUI – 28 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 5 Sep