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.