Decathlon gold medallist Ashton Eaton says he was embarrassed of winning because of the close relationship he has with his fellow competitors.
The American scored a total of 8,869 points across the 10 events, with Trey Hardee and Leonel Suarez taking silver and bronze respectively, but the unity among the competitors was striking.
Like the heptathletes after Jessica Ennis won gold, the 26 athletes still standing at the end of the final event, the 1500m, embraced, shook hands and celebrated together. “I think about all the work my competitors put in — exactly the same as I did — and I wonder why I deserved gold,” said Eaton.
“We’re like a family. We all push each other, we all want to see each other succeed and at the moment, it just so happens that I’m the one who’s succeeding. I can’t believe it.”
There was also joy for the United States in the men’s triple jump, with Christian Taylor taking gold with a season’s best leap of 17.81, edging out compatriot Will Claye and Fabrizio Donato of Italy. Taylor was the strong favourite and after seeing Great Britain’s Phillips Idowu fail to reach the final, he delivered when it mattered.
In the women’s javelin, Czech athlete Barbora Spotakova threw 69.55m to ensure she retained the title she won in Beijing.