Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton needed six stitches after being hit in the head by a falling pole vault bar at the U.S. Indoor Championships in Portland, Ore., on Friday, according to his social media.
Eaton, the Olympic and World decathlon champion and world-record holder, finished last in his 60m heat and then sixth in the long jump at U.S. Indoors.
The head gash came during the long jump, near the pole vault area.
He took his first jump and, between jumps, was standing next to the pole vault pit when a falling bar from a vaulter’s miss went flying into his forehead, according to the Oregonian. Bleeding, he left the track to get cleaned up and returned with a bandaged head, taking two more jumps.
Eaton is preparing to compete in the heptathlon at the World Indoor Championships, also in Portland next week. He’s the reigning World champion and world-record holder in that event, too.
NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will have live coverage of the final day of the U.S. Indoor Championships on Saturday from 8-10 p.m. ET.
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"…I'll be needing stitches." Ashton is not only the world's greatest athlete, but the best sport as well! He's doing just fine after getting 6 stitches last night! #USATFindoors #USATF #🇺🇸 #🤕 #track #tracknation #trackandfield @tracktownusa @portland2016 🎶 “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes