Thursday, August 9, 2012
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Gwinnett Daily Post
LOCALS IN LONDON
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LONDON — Ashton Eaton won the Olympic decathlon gold medal by 198 points on Thursday night.
Eaton set the decathlon world record at the U.S. trials in June and backed it up with an Olympic victory with 8,869 points.
Two-time world champion Trey Hardee settled for silver with 8,671 points and Leonel Suarez of Cuba took the bronze, 346 points behind Eaton, at 8,523. It's the first 1-2 finish in the decathlon for the Americans since 1956.
Eaton had a 151-point lead going into the final event, the 1,500 meters, and is a better middle-distance runner than Hardee. But there were still some nerves in the field, with a rare false start in the 1,500.
Eaton, 24, needed to slash six seconds off his fastest ever time in the 1,500 to break his world record, but ran a cautious race and finished well outside his personal best in 4 minutes, 33.59 seconds.
Of the 10 events, Eaton won three of them — the 100, 400 and long jump. He entered the Games on a high after setting a world record with 9.039 points at U.S. Olympic Trials.
Norcross grad Jangy Addy, competing for Liberia, had 7,586 points and finished in 23rd place. The 27-year-old was 20th in his first Olympic appearance in 2008.