Ashton Eaton wins decathlon at World Track and Field Championships

Ashton Eaton

Ashton Eaton followed up his world record and Olympic title in the decathlon in 2012 with his first world championship on Sunday.

Eaton’s point total, 8,809, was well off the world record of 9,039 set at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, but he won with ease and entered the meet predicting he would score 8,800 points without too much effort.

The year after the Olympics can be draining for any track and field athlete, especially decathletes. Eaton is the first reigning Olympic decathlon champion to win the world championship the year following the Games.

German Michael Schrader took the silver with 8,670 points, and Canadian Damian Warner stepped up for bronze with 8,512.

Eaton, 25, took a nine-point lead over U.S. teammate Gunnar Nixon into the second day of the 10-event competition and extended it with a 13.92 clocking in the 110-meter hurdles on Sunday morning.

Next came the discus, where German Michael Schrader passed Nixon to move into silver medal position and held it through the pole vault and javelin. Eaton was never challenged, taking a 168-point lead into the final event, the 1,500 meters.

Nixon, 20, the world junior champion in 2012, kept falling and finished in 13th place. The two-time defending world champion, American Trey Hardee, withdrew with a hamstring injury Saturday. Eaton took silver to Hardee at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

Eaton will stay in Moscow to watch his American teammates and his wife, Canadian heptathlete Brianne Theisen, who is a medal threat in the seven-event competition Monday and Tuesday.

Brittney Reese wins historic world title in long jump

Valencia Marathon produces historic times in men’s, women’s races

2022 Valencia Marathon

Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum and Ethiopian Amane Beriso won the Valencia Marathon and became the third-fastest man and woman in history, respectively.

Kiptum, a 23-year-old in his marathon debut, won the men’s race in 2 hours, 1 minute, 53 seconds. The only men to ever run faster over 26.2 miles are legends: Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09 world record, plus a 2:01:39) and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele (2:01:41).

Kipchoge made his marathon debut at age 28, and Bekele at 31.

Beriso, a 31-year-old whose personal best was 2:20:48 from January 2016, stunned the women’s field Sunday by running 2:14:58. The only women to have run faster: Kenyans Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04) and Ruth Chepngetich (2:14:18).

Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey finished second in 2:16:49, the fastest-ever time for a woman in her marathon debut. Gidey is the world record holder at 5000m and 10,000m.

Valencia is arguably the top annual marathon outside of the six World Marathon Majors. The next major marathon is Tokyo on March 5.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill


BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!