Ashton Eaton in the mens Decathlon at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 (© Getty Images)
Ashton Eaton of the USA finished the Moscow World Championships Decathlon in style, winning his first World outdoor title with a world-leading 8809.
The 25-year-old had his highs and lows during the competition, but finished on a high note having cleared 5.20m in the Pole Vault, thrown a Decathlon best of 64.83m in the Javelin, and clocked 4:29.80 in the 1500m to win by 139 points over Germany’s Michael Schrader.
Eaton now holds World titles indoors (Heptathlon) and outdoors, the Olympic title and World records indoors (Heptathlon) and outdoors. He is also the first athlete to hold all three titles at the same time with the addition of holding both World records at the same time as well.
Schrader capped a great competition with 8607, smashing his previous personal best of 8522 from Götzis in 2009, improving on that by 148 points. He clocked 4:25.38 in the 1500m, about six seconds off his personal best, to win the silver medal.
The German set four personal bests – including his Decathlon score – during the competition in only his second major championships; he was 10th at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
In third place was last year’s newcomer Damian Warner, who came agonizingly close to a medal last summer in London, but this time he added 70 points to his best with 8512 to win the bronze medal.
The Canadian finished the competition well with a 4:29.97, a few seconds behind young Frenchman Kevin Mayer, who clocked 4:25.04 in the final event. The 21-year-old went to London last year as one of the favourites having scored a 8447 personal best, but faltered badly in that competition.
He learned a lesson though, as his second attempt at a senior global championships brought him a fourth-place finish with a wind-legal personal best, French under-23 record and only one point below his 2012 wind-assisted score of 8447.
Dutchman Eelco Sintnicolaas missed his medal chances in the Pole Vault and Javelin, but still competed until the end, clocking 4:24.64 in the 1500m for a season’s best score of 8391 in fifth place.
Brazilian Carlos Chinin missed his own South American record in sixth place by a mere five points, scoring 8388. German Rico Freimuth was seventh with an 8382 personal best while Russian favourite Ilya Shkurenyov, again drawing huge cheers from the crowd, produced a magical second day for an 8370 personal best in eighth, having been more than 150 points behind his PB series at one stage.
Willem Coertzen of South Africa broke the African record with 8343, adding almost 100 points to his own best score. Cuban Leonel Suarez, who had been a medallist at four straight global championships between 2008 and 2012, didn’t get a fifth successive medal, but still finished in style, trying his best in every event after losing his medal chances. 8317 points for the tenth place in his first decathlon of the season was the prize this time.
Three more athletes went over 8300 with Germany’s European champion Pascal Behrenbruch in 11th place with 8316, 2008 Olympic silver medallist Andrei Krauchanka 12th with 8314 and US newcomer Gunnar Nixon in 13th with a big 8312 personal best at his first senior major championships.
It was the best ever Decathlon competition in terms of depth as 13 athletes broke 8300. The previous best was 10, achieved at the Atlanta Olympics 1996. 15 athletes went over 8250, also the best with 14 in Atlanta 1996.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF