World record holder Ashton Eaton will become the Olympic champion in the Decathlon after the 1500m, should he not fall down during the race. The 24-year-old American set his first personal best in this competition in the javelin with a 61.96m throw with his last attempt. Eaton now needs to match his personal best in the 1500m (4:14.48) to become the first man to reach 9000 points at the Olympics. A sub 4:14 result would take him to 9000 points or over and a 4:08.54 result in the last event is needed for a new World record (9040). The leader has a total score of 8148 points after nine events, a respectable total score in any decathlon after 10 events and is 151 points ahead of countryman Trey Hardee in second place.
The reigning World champion from Daegu, Hardee, is still in second place in the competition having scored 7997 points before the last event, but this position did not come easy for the American. Although his lead before the other medal contenders behind him was clear, the Leonel Suárez of Cuba made sure Hardee had to work hard for his silver. The Olympic bronze medallist from Beijing 2008 came to his first throw determined and unleashed the javelin with a mighty roar and it did fly too. The result was an Olympic decathlon best 76.94m, which is also the third best ever result in a Decathlon Javelin Throw behind the world best 79.80m by javelin specialist Peter Blank of Germany (in a decathlon where he scored 7425p) and the Cuban’s own personal best 77.47m from 2009 (decathlon score 8654p). It’s safe to say that Suárez is the best ever javelin thrower of the elite decathletes and this throw put him immediately to a position to challenge Hardee having broken his own Olympic Decathlon Javelin Throw best 73.98m from Beijing.
But the 28-year-old, throwing his first attempt after the Cuban, did not crumble, but instead threw a season’s best 62.66m result, enough to put him to a good, but tight position before the 1500m considering that the Cuban will gain about 150 points in that event too. With Suárez having thrown his best with the first, Hardee went on to record his third best ever javelin result 66.65m with his second throw and has now scored 218 points more than the Cuban in third place. Suárez is a good 1500m runner, so with 7779 points for the third place after nine events. Hardee is not the strongest 1500m runner, but can run 4:45 when needed and now is exactly the time for that. 218 points more than 4:45 is 4:13.50, exactly 31.5 seconds and that will not be possible to achieve, despite the fact that Suárez has run a PB 4:16.70 in 2008, but lately his results have been around 4:25.
Behind the medal trio there is a real surprise in fourth place. 22-year-old Canadian came to London with a lowly personal best of 8107, but has a possibility to go over 8450 points here. Having already recorded five personal bests in the competition he will have a chance to get two more in the final event, 1500m and decathlon total points. In the javelin Warner continued his excellent Decathlon bettering his PB in this event as well with a 62.77m effort in round three. The London, Ontario, native is a 4:30 1500m runner and will really challenge Belgian Hans Van Alphen for the fourth place. Warner has scored 7696 points before the final event, 44 more than the 7652p gathered by the Belgian.
The Belgian record holder is no longer in a position to get over 8500 points and break his national record. This is because a 61.69m javelin result was simply not enough and for the first time since early in day one, he was dropped from the medal fight. The 30-year-old had thrown over 67 metres in an individual competition this season and really could have used a few metres more here. Van Alphen has run a 4:20.87 1500m this season and has an even faster PB 4:17.51 from 2009, so he is really capable of overtaking the Canadian for fourth place and needs to win Warner by 6.75 seconds in the last event to catch him.
German Rico Freimuth was in third place after eight events, but the 57.37m Javelin result dropped him too far back with 7625p at this stage for sixth place. The 24-year-old is also a slower 1500m runner and has no chance of catching the Canadian and Belgian in front him in total points. Oleksiy Kasyanov of Ukraine threw a season’s best 54.87m in the javelin and is in seventh (7562p) and Russian Sergey Sviridov was the second best athlete in the Javelin with a 68.54m result which takes him to eighth place overall with 7517 points after nine events.