Team USA goes 1-2 in decathlon, triple jump

USA Track & Field
Posted Aug 9, 2012


LONDON - Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee went 1-2 in the decathlon, and Christian Taylor and Will Claye did the same in the triple jump as Team USA added four more medals in track competition Thursday night. The U.S. medal tally now stands at 24.

(PHOTO) 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

Eaton (Eugene, Ore.) and Hardee (Austin, Texas) were in first and second from the start of the competition, and they kept that consistency through the 10th and final event. Eaton won the gold with 8,863 points and Hardee had silver with 8,671points, marking the fifth time the U.S. has gone 1-2 in the decathlon. Hall of Famers Milt Campbell and Rafer Johnson were the last to accomplish the 1-2 feat, in 1956. Leonel Suarez of Cuba was third behind Eaton and Hardee, scoring 8,523 points.

In the final three events of the decathlon, Eaton took third in the pole vault as he cleared 6 progressions of the bar up to 5.20m/17-0.75 for 972 points. Satisfied that his clearance was enough to secure his spot in the lead, Eaton passed at taking any additional attempts. Hardee only attempted two heights in the pole vault and cleared 4.80m/15-9 on his second attempt for 849 points.

In the javelin, Hardee threw an impressive season best of 66.65m/218-8 only 11 months after undergoing surgery on his throwing elbow. Hardee’s mark was the second best of the field and good for 838 points. Eaton threw a personal best of 61.96m/203-3 for 767 points on his third attempts.

Closing out the two-day competition with the 1,500m, Eaton ran 4:33.59 for 721 points, and Hardee ran a personal best of 4:40.94 for 674 points.

Taylor, Claye jump into history

For the first time since 1996, Team USA went 1-2 in the men’s triple jump as Christian Taylor (Daytona Beach, Fla.) and Will Claye (Imperial Beach, Calif.) won gold and silver in their first Olympic Games. Claye’s runner up finish combined with his earlier long jump gold makes him the first American man since 1904, and the first time since 1936 for any man to medal in both jumps at the same Olympics.

Claye was the early leader after barely foot-fouling his first attempt, and responding in round 2 with a mark of 17.54m/57-6.5 to put him into first. Taylor struggled early on as he fouled his first two jumps before putting in a “safety jump” of 17.15m/56-3.25 on his third throw to earn three more attempts. In the fourth round Taylor ripped a huge jump of 17.81m/58-5.25 to take a commanding lead, and Clay improved his best to 17.62m/57-9.75 to shore up his status in second place. Fabrizio Donato of Italy took home bronze with a mark of 17.48m/57-4.25.



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