Ducks of London: Ashton Eaton Begins his Quest for Gold

EUGENE, OR - JUNE 23: Ashton Eaton competes in the Men's 100 meter dash portion of the decathlon event on day one of the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the Hayward Field on June 23, 2011 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

At 2:10 AM Oregon time, decathlon world record holder Ashton Eaton starts his ten-event trek toward an Olympic medal with the 100 meter dash. Eaton ran this event at the trials in 10.21 seconds, the fastest ever in a decathlon. More on Eaton after the jump, but first, a recap of Monday and Tuesday:

  • Australian Duck Zoe Buckman advanced to Wednesday's semifinals of the women's 1500 meters, in a time of 4:07.83. She has her work cut out for her if she is to make the final, as she has the fifth-slowest personal best of any runner remaining in the field.
  • Becky Holliday finished ninth in the women's pole vault final, clearing a height of 4.45 meters. In a show of sportsmanship (sportswomanship?), she stayed on the track after being eliminated to watch her American teammate Jenn Suhr vault to gold.
  • Javelin thrower Rachel Yurkovich's games are done, as her best throw of 52.97 meters failed to qualify for the final.
  • Matthew Centrowitz's final kick in the 1500 meter final fell just short, missing out on the podium by .04 seconds. Had it been a 1510 meter race, Centrowitz would have passed Morocco's Abdalaati Iguider, but it wasn't to be. Centrowitz tweeted after the race, "Wow. Definitely a hard one 2 swallow. Did everything I could & just came up short. Been a few years since Ive cried but couldn't help it lol" Centrowitz is only 22, and American teammate Leo Manzano won the silver in this race as a 27 year old, so there's a very good chance we will see Matthew back on this stage four years from now in Rio.

With all respect to Buckman, Galen Rupp, and Cyrus Hostetler, who also compete Wednesday in the 1500 meter semis, the 5000 meter prelims, and the javelin prelims respectively, the next two days are about Ashton Eaton. He's poised to be, along with Gabby Douglas and Missy Franklin, a breakout star in American athletics. His world record at the trials made him a recognizable name and face, and it's time for him to cement his place his history with Olympic gold. And it starts with the two events he holds records in: the 100 meter dash, and the long jump. At the 2011 world championships, he got off to an underwhelming start and was unable to come back for gold. At the trials, he put up 2164 points, 254 more than at the worlds, and it propelled him to the world record. Eaton is a new kind of decathlete: capable in the throwing events, elite in the jumps, and unprecedented as a runner. Winning gold means simply keeping up on the field, and putting distance between himself and his competitors when they take to the track. Gold is by no means a sure thing, but Eaton has the best chance of any Duck in the games to bring a gold medal home to Eugene.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Addicted To Quack

You must be a member of Addicted To Quack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Addicted To Quack. You should read them.

Join Addicted To Quack

You must be a member of Addicted To Quack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Addicted To Quack. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker