Team USA's Ashton Eaton Wins Gold For Olympic Decathlon, Trey Hardee Takes Silver
In the final heat of the Olympic decathlon competition in London, it wasn't hard to see that American Olympian Ashton Eaton, 24, was going to walk away with gold in his 24-hour, 10-event, two-day tournament.
Eaton finished the final 1500m heat with a time of 4:33.45, far from a record-setter, but enough to take his accumulated decathlon points up to 8,869, securing the gold medal for the United States. The score fell short of breaking the Olympic decathlon record, set by Roman Sebrle in 2004, by 24 points, but that didn't keep fellow decathlon athletes from raving about Eaton.
"He's the best ever," said 1996 Olympic gold medal winner Dan O'Brien, reports the Washington Post. "He's absolutely the best ever."
The victory was made all the sweeter by the fact that fellow American Trey Hardee, 28, took the silver medal home in the celebrated sport, marking the first time that the USA has secured both the gold and silver medals in the decathlon since the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, when Milt Campbell, 78, and Rafer Johnson, 76, nabbed the one and two slots.
Good friends Eaton and Hardee praise one another's abilities. "So Ashton doesn't have to sound selfish or self-centered, Ashton is the best athlete to ever walk the planet, hands down," Hardee said of Eaton, interrupting after reporters tried to get a self-congratulatory remark (a la sprinter Usain Bolt) about his own performance out of Eaton, reports the New York Times.
Instead, Eaton let his friend do the praising and humbly accepted his new gold medal and title. "Titles are for books and stuff," he said. "I just like doing what I'm doing."
For more on the 2012 London Olympics:
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