Ashton Eaton

Ashton Eaton ‘disappointed’ after missing world record in heptathlon; World Indoors recap

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Olympic decathlon champion and world record holder Ashton Eaton missed breaking his own world record in the heptathlon but still repeated as World Indoor champion in Sopot, Poland, on Saturday.

Afterward, he said he was disappointed and that he wasn’t in shape.

Eaton won his fourth straight global multi-event championship after taking the decathlon at last summer’s World Outdoor Championships.

Eaton’s win Saturday came with his wife, Canadian Brianne Theisen-Eaton, looking on at Ergo Arena one day after she won silver in the pentathlon.

“I’m never really satisfied if I don’t get a personal best,” Eaton told Eurosport. “Yeah, I’m disappointed. I wish I would have gotten the world record.”

Eaton entered the seventh and final event of the heptathlon needing to run the 800m in 2:33.54 for the world record, nearly three quarters of a second slower than he did to set the mark at the 2012 World Indoors.

But Eaton was well off the pace going into the final lap and, despite a valiant breakaway kick, came up shy in 2:34.72.

“I wasn’t in shape,” Eaton said. “I was feeling fatigued before I even started. … I tried. I’m not a robot.”

Eaton scored 6,632 total points. His world record from 2012 is 6,645. He won by 329 points over silver medalist Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus.

“I’m happy with being world champion, but no world record this time,” Eaton said. “Dang it.”

Eaton confirmed Saturday he would enter 400m hurdles races during the upcoming outdoor season.

There are no major outdoor championships for Americans this year, and he’s automatically qualified into the 2015 World Outdoor Championships decathlon. So he’s got some time to enter the events he pleases.

“It’s going to be good to kind of take a break from the multi events for a while to get ready for ’15 and ’16,” Eaton said.

Later, Brit Richard Kilty stunned the field to win the 60m in 6.49 seconds. American Marvin Bracy, a 20-year-old former Florida State football recruit, took silver in 6.51.

Olympic 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson of Australia was beaten in the 60m hurdles. American Nia Ali won in a personal best 7.8 seconds. Pearson took silver in 7.85. Michigan-born Brit Tiffany Porter grabbed bronze in 7.86.

In the women’s 400m, American Francena McCorory won the biggest title of her career in 51.12 seconds. The race was missing the last two World Outdoor champions (Christine Ohuruogu and Amantle Montsho) and U.S. Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross.

In the women’s 1500m, Ethiopian-born Swede Abeba Aregawi won in 4:00.61, consolidating her World Outdoor Championship last season.

This was the race American Mary Cain, 17, was slated to run before pulling out of the meet with a calf injury. Without Cain, Treniere Moser was fourth and Heather Kampf, Cain’s replacement, fell during the race and was later disqualified.

In the men’s 400m, American Kyle Clemons won a bronze medal in his global championship debut. The Czech Republic’s Pavel Maslak, 23, won gold. The Bahamas’ Chris Brown, 35, won silver.

In the women’s shot put, New Zealand’s two-time Olympic champion Valerie Adams won her fifth straight global championship and her 44th straight meet title.

World Indoor Championships broadcast schedule

Rio Olympic, Paralympic medals to be unveiled June 16

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The medals for the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games will be unveiled June 16, 50 days before the Olympic Opening Ceremony, Rio Games and International Paralympic Committee officials said Friday.

The Olympic and Paralympic medals are different designs.

It’s the closest to the Opening Ceremony that Olympic medals have been unveiled since 2000:

Sochi 2014 — Eight months ahead of time
London 2012 — One year ahead
Vancouver 2010 — Four months ahead
Beijing 2008 — 17 months ahead
Torino 2006 — Two months ahead
Athens 2004 — 13 months ahead
Salt Lake City 2002 — Four months ahead
Sydney 2000 — One month ahead

MORE: Pelé on Rio Olympics, lighting the cauldron

Bob Bowman talks new book, Olympic memories, Michael Phelps

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While at TODAY to discuss his new book, “The Golden Rules,” with Matt Lauer, U.S. Olympic men’s swimming head coach Bob Bowman sat down with OlympicTalk last week.

In “The Golden Rules,” Bowman details 10 steps to world-class excellence in life and work, illustrating them with lessons learned from coaching not only Michael Phelps, but also several more world-class swimmers and his own personal experiences.

Bowman answered questions about his book, Phelps’ training for the Olympic Trials and his memories from coaching the past two decades:

OlympicTalk: Why write and come out with a book now?

Bowman: Well, quite honestly, I think this is when it could get the most widespread coverage. The message can be the most effectively given, because it’s in our Olympic window. I’ve been working on it for four years, so it’s kind of been a long process. Right after London I started working on it. It just seemed like this year is perfect timing.

OlympicTalk: In May 2012, you said you would take a year off from coaching after the Olympics. Now that you’re back, and now coaching a college program, how much longer do you see yourself coaching?

Bowman: I think a long time now. One thing I learned on that break, I’m a terrible vacationer. I have to make myself sit at the beach. I’m probably going to work as long as I can work. It’s what I love to do. So, I’m healthy, don’t see why I won’t go for a long time.

EXCERPT: Bowman and Phelps’ first conversation about a comeback

OlympicTalk: Do you and Phelps have an idea of what you’d like to focus on in his final pre-Olympic Trials meet in Austin (June 3-5)?

Bowman: There are a couple of things that he needs to do. You know, he hasn’t really done too many 200m frees [in his comeback]. I think you’ll see him in a 200m free. And he has some goals that he has for the other events that he’d like to hit before trials, so that’s what we’re working on.

OlympicTalk: If Phelps wants to swim the 4x100m and 4x200m free relays in Rio, does he need to put up a fast time at trials?

Bowman: Well, I think he needs to put up a time, sometime, to let us know that he’s on that level. Intuitively, we know, but, yeah, he’s going to have to put up some times. It could be [in Austin].

OlympicTalk: As U.S. Olympic men’s head coach, what are your early thoughts on the relays?

Bowman: I think in the 4x200m [free], we’re looking pretty strong. I think we have some young guys that are very good. We’ve got Michael, Ryan [Lochte], the kind of mainstays. Conor [Dwyer] is on fire. He’s been training with us in altitude

The 4x100m is still a little bit of a question mark, but I feel better about it as we go along. I think we’ve got some young guys coming up who are going to step up. Nathan [Adrian] is obviously very solid. I think Michael put in a really solid 100m. So I feel better about it. I don’t know exactly how far we can go, but I think we’re a lot better than we were a year ago.

Editor’s Note: The U.S. had a disastrous 11th-place finish in preliminaries at the World Championships 4x100m free relay on Aug. 2, without Phelps, Lochte or Adrian.

OlympicTalk: Two years ago, we were all concerned about Allison Schmitt after she failed to make the World Championships team. She’s swimming well again. What happened in the last two years? 

Bowman: She’s really just gone through some very tough times, battling depression, and she’s kind of come out the other side. I think she’s really worked very hard on her mental aspects of swimming. The physical was never really a question. She’s trying to put all the pieces together. And now she’s really kind of become a much stronger person, and it’s really showing. Her training is as good as it’s ever been.

Editor’s Note: Bowman expects Schmitt to swim three events at the Olympic Trials — 100m, 200m and 400m freestyles. Schmitt took gold in the 200m and silver in the 400m at the 2012 Olympics.

MORE: Phelps’ concussion, more highlights from ‘The Golden Rules’

OlympicTalk: Other than those you’ve coached, who is the most impressive swimmer you’ve seen?

Bowman: I’d have to say [Katie] Ledecky. She has been so consistent at such a high level. Someone asked me about the most amazing swims I’ve ever seen are, and I’m going to have to say that one of them is certainly Katie’s 8:06 that she swam in Austin [an 800m freestyle world record on Jan. 17]. 4:03/4:03 [splits]. For a long time, 4:03 was a world record [in the 400m freestyle], and I thought it would never be touched. To do two of those? Absolutely amazing.

OlympicTalk: What about international swimmers?

Bowman: I’ve always been a big Ian Thorpe fan. He’s such an incredible swimmer at his peak. There have been so many. [Kosuke] Kitajima the breaststroker. There have been some really, really kind of dominant swimmers during their window in time. Which, as I see that now, I’m even more amazed that Michael’s been able to maintain that level for so long.

OlympicTalk: What’s your favorite of Phelps’ Olympic swims?

Bowman: That’s hard to say. His best in terms of just a pure performance was his 200m free in Beijing [then a world record; Phelps has said that’s his best swim at an Olympics]. A dominating performance. My personal favorite is the 4:03 [400m individual medley] from Beijing [still a world record]. But I also love his 400m IM from Athens, his first gold medal. So those are kind of my top three.

OlympicTalk: We’ve all heard the stories of Phelps in Sydney in 2000, forgetting his credential and leaving his suit strings untied. What do you remember about those Games?

Bowman: I remember that we were so happy to be there, and the thing I loved is he got faster. Every time he swam, he got faster. He did a best time every time he swam. But there was so much more left to do. I’ve just seen a video, NBC’s doing a little promo this week, they show him diving in in Sydney. He kicks his legs back. He doesn’t kick underwater. There are like a million things he could have done better. So that’s what I remember. He was just a kid having fun.

OlympicTalk: Did you make any rookie Olympic mistakes as a coach in Atlanta or Sydney?

Bowman: No, because the kid [I coached in Atlanta] was the same age as me [laughs]. I didn’t have to do anything. Eric Wunderlich, he trained himself [Wunderlich was 26 in Atlanta; Bowman was 32]. Actually, in Sydney, I don’t know if I made any mistakes, but I probably just didn’t know how the game was played. It was just inexperience in the schedule, reminding Michael to have his credential. Those kinds of things. I think that’s what I didn’t really think of.

VIDEO: Bowman discusses ‘The Golden Rules’ on TODAY