With American Ashton Eaton leading France’s Kevin Mayer by 44 points going into the final event of the decathlon, the 1500 meters, Eaton was not only in a race to establish a new Olympic record but to make sure he remained in gold medal position as well.
Eaton did that, finishing fourth in the 1500 with a time of 4:23.33. The 789 points earned with that finish locked up a gold medal for Eaton and tied the Olympic record, as his overall total of 8893 points matched that of Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic in 2004. Mayer took silver with 8834 points, a new national record, with Canada’s Damian Warner taking bronze with 8666 points. Mayer is France’s first medalist in the decathlon since 1948 (Ignace Heinrich).
Warner was in a similar position to Eaton when it came to retaining his position going into the 1500, with fourth place finisher Kai Kazmirek needing to beat Warner by a substantial margin to take bronze. Kazmirek, like Mayer (who needed to beat Eaton by at least six seconds in the 1500), was unable to do so.
With the second consecutive Olympic gold medal Eaton is the third decathlete to achieve a repeat, joining American Bob Mathias (1948 and 1952) and Briton Daley Thompson (1980 and 1984).
Americans Zach Ziemek and Jeremy Taiwo finished seventh and 11th, respectively, with Ziemek tallying a total of 8392 points and Taiwo 8300.