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Two-time defending champion Eaton leads day one decathlon in Beijing

8/27/2015
 

BEIJING -- Two-time defending decathlon champion Ashton Eaton began his quest for a three-peat Friday morning, holding an 83-point lead over Canada’s Damian Warner through three events in the morning session. In other track & field action, Olympic silver medalist Erik Kynard qualified for the men’s high jump final, while race walkers Maria Michta-Coffey and Miranda Melville turned in career best finishes in the 20 km race walk.


Eaton eyes the top spot

Through the first three events of the men’s decathlon, two-time defending champion Ashton Eaton (Bend, Oregon) leads the way with 2,830 points. Zach Ziemek (Itasca, Illinois) is 10th overall with 2,545 points, while Jeremy Taiwo (Renton, Washington) and Trey Hardee (Vestavia Hills, Alabama) sit 19th (2,436 points) and 26th (2,345 points), respectively.


100 Meters

In the final heat, defending champion Eaton put on a show, quickly recovering from the second-slowest reaction time of his heat to run a IAAF World Championship decathlon best 10.23 for 1,040 points, just .02 off his lifetime best. Hardee was fifth in the final heat and fifth overall in 10.56 (961 points), while rookie Ziemek was 7th in the heat and 10th overall in 10.81 for 903 points. Taiwo tried to overcome a slower start in his heat of the 100 but was unable to make up ground, crossing in 11.06 for 847 points.


Long Jump

Eaton spent his morning well in front of the board, leaving quite a bit out there. Eaton still turned in the best jump of the morning, leaping 7.88m/25-10.25 on his first attempt of the day. Youngster Ziemek had a solid showing, turning in a season’s best 7.57m/24-10 on his final attempt to finish second in his flight. Hardee registered two jumps on the day, his best being 7.30m/23-11.50, while Taiwo had a 7.15m/23-5.5 best on Friday morning.


Shot Put

Eaton turned in the top mark of the day by a U.S. decathlete, tossing 14.52m/47-7.75 on his second attempt to extend his overall lead over Canada’s Damian Warner to 83 points. Taiwo utilized his last throw of the competition to score 739 points with a toss of 14.18m/46-6.25. Ziemek added to his first day total with a second-attempt mark of 13.38m/43-10.75 for 690 points. On his second throw of the day, Hardee recorded a mark of 10.20m/33-5.75 to score 498 points in the event.


Kynard ekes out a qualifying spot for high jump finals

Erik Kynard (Toledo, Ohio) had a clean sheet on the morning, making easy clearances at every height until the automatic qualifying mark of 2.31m/7-7. Kynard was well over the bar each time but just clipped his heels on the descent of every attempt. Due to his clean series heading into the final bar, Kynard made Sunday’s final as the last qualifier.


Team USA rookie JaCorian Duffield (Converse, Texas) battled some nerves early in the day, missing his first two attempts at the opening bar (2.17m/7-1.50). He was clean after that until the automatic qualifying bar. Duffield missed all three attempts at the height and, despite clearing the same height as Kynard, did not advance to the final due to his initial misses. Duffield’s 2.29 is the highest height ever to not qualify for a World Championships final.


Two-time Olympian and 2011 World Champion Jesse Williams (Raleigh, North Carolina) easily cleared the first two heights of 2.17m/7-1.50 and 2.22m/7-3.25, but struggled with the next bar at 2.26m/7-5. After a missed first attempt, Williams was safely over 2.26m, but struggled with the next height of 2.29m/7-6. With three missed attempts at 2.29m, Williams finished 12th in his group and 22nd overall and did not advance.


Walkers turn in career best IAAF finishes

American record holder Maria Michta-Coffey (Nesconset, New York) looked strong straight out of the gate, holding steady in the chase pack as China’s Lu and Liu took out the pace very quickly. Miranda Melville (Rochester, New York) went out fast to start but finally found her rhythm, settling into a comfortable pace after the 5 km mark. Michta-Coffey and Melville picked off their competitors maneuvering their way into the top 30 halfway through the competition. With just 5 km remaining in the race, both Michta-Coffey and Melville made their moves and passed their competitors by four places apiece to sit in 23rd and 29th, respectively. In the final meters, the women battled through the conditions to turn in their best finishes ever in IAAF competition, with Michta-Coffey crossing in 1:33:24 for 20th and Melville 26th in 1:35:19. 26th is also the best international finish of Melville’s career.


Action continues in Beijing with Friday’s evening session and runs through Sunday, August 30.


Fans can join the conversation by following USATF on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, using the hashtag #Beijing2015.


Full results from the IAAF World Championships can be found here.


Team USA Medals (12)

Gold (3)

Joe Kovacs - Shot Put (21.93m/71-11.5)

Christian Taylor - Triple Jump (18.21m/59-9)

Allyson Felix - 400 Meters (49.26)


Silver (4)

Justin Gatlin - 100 Meters (9.80)

Shamier Little - 400m Hurdles (53.50)

LaShawn Merritt - 400 Meters (43.65)

Justin Gatlin - 200 Meters (19.74)


Bronze (5)

Michelle Carter - Shot Put (19.76m/64-10)

Trayvon Bromell - 100 Meters (9.92)

Emily Infeld - 10,000 Meters (31:43.49)

Tori Bowie - 100 Meters (10.86)

Cassandra Tate - 400m Hurdles (54.02)


Broadcast Schedule

Date

Time (ET)

Network

Session

Key Events

Friday, Aug. 28

7:30 a.m.

Universal Sports

Evening

W200m, W/M 100m/110m hurdles

Friday, Aug. 28

7:30 p.m.

Universal Sports

Morning

Decathlon

Saturday, Aug. 29

2:30 p.m.

NBC, Live Extra

Evening

Decathlon, 4x100m relays

Saturday, Aug. 29

5 p.m.

Universal Sports

Evening

Decathlon, 4x100m relays (re-air)

Saturday, Aug. 29

7:30 p.m.

Universal Sports

Morning

Women’s marathon

Sunday, Aug. 30

2 p.m.

NBC, Live Extra

Evening

4x400m relays

Sunday, Aug. 30

5 p.m.

Universal Sports

Evening

4x400m relays (re-air)




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