2012 London Olympics: Americans Eaton, Hardee Dominate Decathlon

It was another one-two punch in gold and silver for the Americans in an Olympic event. The decathlon favorite, Ashton Eaton, cruised to his gold medal while Trey Hardee pulled away from the field to pick up the silver.

Aug 9, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Ashton Eaton (USA) celebrates after winning the gold in the decathlon during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The former Oregon athlete finished with 8,869 points. It wasn’t the world record, but it was more than enough finish well ahead of the field and take home a gold from London. Eaton started off fast finishing second in the fourth heat of the 110-meter hurdling dash with 13.56 seconds. Hardee finished .02 seconds ahead of Eaton in the same heat.

Throwing again wasn’t Eaton’s strongest ability in the discus throw. He finished last in his group and 23rd overall with a toss of 139.53 feet. Hardee finished in second in the same group and third overall with 158.33 feet. The best throw was from Germany’s Rico Freimuth with 161.12 feet, a personal best.

Eaton placed third in his group and overall in the pole vaulting next, reaching a height of 17.06 feet. Hardee finished ninth overall with 15.75 feet, and the best overall was Chile’s Gonzalo Barroilhet with 17.72 feet.

Most likely the biggest surprise was Eaton’s best showing in a throwing event. He reached a personal best with 203.28 feet, finishing behind Hardee’s seasonal best of 218.67 feet. The best mark of the event was Leonel Suarez’s amazing throw of 252.43 feet, good for the Olympic best by the athlete from Cuba.

The trial of 10 events concluded with the 1500-meter run. Eaton didn’t dominate like he did in the other events on the track, but still had a good mark of 4:33.59 minutes and was able to secure his gold with ease. Hardee finished with a personal best of 4:40.94 minutes and the former Texas Longhorn finished with an overall seasonal best of 8,671. That’s 198 points off of Eaton’s final but 148 points ahead of bronze medalist Suarez.

Aug 9, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Ashton Eaton (USA) celebrates with Trey Hardee (USA) after winning the decathlon after racing in the 1500m decathlon during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Keshia Baker and Galen Rupp are the final former Ducks competitors left. Baker will compete in the women’s 4×400-meter heats tomorrow morning.

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Autzen Zoo, follow the site on Facebook and Twitter. Read his other work on the Iowa State blog, Clones Confidential, and Watson Talk Lacrosse.

Topics: 110m Hurdles, 1500m, 2012 London Olympics, Ashton Eaton, Chile, Cuba, Discus Throw, Galen Rupp, Germany, Gonzalo Barroilhet, Javelin Throw, Keshia Baker, Leonel Suarez, Pole Vault, Rico Freimuth, Texas Longhorns, Troy Hardee, Women's 4x400m Relay

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