Olympics: American Ashton Eaton retains decathlon crown after equalling Games record

Ashton Eaton of the US celebrates after winning the Men's Decathlon.
Ashton Eaton of the US celebrates after winning the Men's Decathlon.PHOTO: REUTERS
Ashton Eaton of the US celebrates after winning the Men's Decathlon.
Ashton Eaton of the US celebrates after winning the Men's Decathlon.PHOTO: REUTERS
Ashton Eaton of the US reacts during the Men's Decathlon Discus Throw.
Ashton Eaton of the US reacts during the Men's Decathlon Discus Throw. PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - American Ashton Eaton won his second straight Olympic decathlon gold medal on Thursday, tying the Olympic record after cruising to victory with a third-place finish in the final 1,500m.

Eaton ran a tactical race, keeping an eye on France's Kevin Mayer, who had threatened his position with strong showings in the pole vault and javelin throw.

The 26-year-old Mayer took silver in the two-day event.

Eaton ran the first three laps easily, secure in his points margin and content to allow Algeria's Larbi Bourrada to win in 4min 14.6sec.

The American ran down nearest points rivals Mayer and Canadian Damian Warner in the final 200m.

Warner, who had beaten the 28-year-old Eaton in the 100m with an Olympic best time of 10.3sec as well as in the 110m hurdles, snagged the bronze.

Eaton relies on his speed to offset average performances in the throwing events.

Mayer, 24, used the field events to his advantage, placing first in the shot put with a 15.76m throw and topping 5.4m in the pole vault.

Eaton, twice world champion, won two of the 10 events - the long jump and 400m - and finished second to Warner in the 100m and 110m hurdles.

Eaton's final score of 8,893 points tied the Olympic record set in 2004 by Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic.