Olympics Rio 2016: Ashton Eaton defends Olympic decathlon title
Ashton Eaton became the first athlete since Daley Thompson to defend his decathlon title at Rio 2016, equalling the Olympic record in the process.
The world record holder successfully navigated the event-concluding 1500m to finish on 8893 points, with France’s Kevin Mayer setting a national record to earn silver with 8834 points.
Canada’s Damian Warner took bronze with 8666 points.
"To win two Olympic golds in a row like Daley Thompson is very special. One day, I'm going to have to meet Daley, shake his hand and thank him for giving me something to chase after," Eaton told reporters after tearfully embracing his Canadian wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who won the bronze medal in the women's heptathlon.
Gold medallist Ashton Eaton (USA) of USA embraces his wife Brianne Theisen-EatonReuters
Eaton, whose performance fell short of the world record he set last year in Beijing, said he had worked to improve his throwing events.
"My throwing has been bad in the past, but I really got after the discus and shot here," Eaton said.
"Can I do three in a row? Maybe you should ask Daley."
Canadian Damian Warner, who beat the 28-year-old Eaton in the 100m with an Olympic best time of 10.3 seconds as well as in the 110m hurdles, snagged the bronze.
"I came here with mindset of gold but there are a lot of tough competitors out there in decathlon," Warner said. "I am proud of myself. I feel like the luckiest athlete in the world."
Eaton won two of the 10 events - the long jump and 400m - and finished second to Warner in the 100m and 110m hurdles.
His final score tied the Olympic record set in 2004 by Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic.
With additional reporting from Reuters