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

Ashton Eaton
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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

Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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