American decathlete Ashton Eaton arrived in Rio as the favorite to take gold in the competition, and through five events he’s well on his way to a second consecutive Olympic gold medal in the event.
Eaton amassed 4,621 points Wednesday, giving him a 121-point lead on Germany’s Kai Kazmirek (4,500 points) through five events. Eaton, the husband of Olympic heptathlon bronze medalist Brianne Thiesen-Eaton of Canada, finished the day with a competition-best time of 46.07 seconds in the 400. That time earned the reigning champion 1,005 points, with Kazmirek getting 971 points for his time of 46.75 in the 400. Eaton and Kazmirek were the only two competitors to run below 47 seconds.
Eaton ranked first or second in three of the five events, taking first in the 400 and long jump and second in the 100. He ranked tenth and 14th in the shot put and high jump, respectively. As for Kazmirek, he ranked in the top ten of four event with the shot put (15th) being the lone exception. That consistency is why he’s Eaton’s closest competitor heading into the final day of competition.
Canada’s Damian Warren, who finished fifth in the decathlon four years ago, is currently third with an overall score of 4,489 points, and Kevin Mayer of France is fourth with 4,435 points. Of the five events completed Wednesday, Mayer established new personal records in four with the long jump being the lone exception.
American Jeremy Taiwo is fifth with 4,419 points and Zach Ziemek tenth with 4,270 points. Brazilian Luiz Alberto de Araujo is ninth with 4,281 points and Cuba’s Lionel Suarez, who took silver in London, is 15th through five events with a total of 4,176 points.
The decathlon concludes Thursday with the 110 hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin and 1500 meters left to be completed.