09 AUG 2012 Report

London 2012 - Event Report - Decathlon 1500m

 The three medallists (L-R) Leonel Suarez of Cuba (bronze medal), Ashton Eaton of USA (Gold medal)  and Trey Hardee of USA (Silver medal) react after competing in the Men's Decathlon 1500m of the London Olympic Games 2012 on 9 August 2012 (Getty Images) The three medallists (L-R) Leonel Suarez of Cuba (bronze medal), Ashton Eaton of USA (Gold medal) and Trey Hardee of USA (Silver medal) react after competing in the Men's Decathlon 1500m of the London Olympic Games 2012 on 9 August 2012 (Getty Images) © Copyright
World record holder Ashton Eaton won the Olympic gold, but the London Decathlon had taken its toll and with no other opponents than himself in the final 1500m event, former World record holder Roman Sebrle (CZE) can still keep his 8893p Olympic record from Athens 2004.

The 24-year-old American didn’t look fresh from the start of the race clocking 4:33.59 for a total of 8869 points. The Olympic gold series included one personal best in the javelin (61.96m), but was a very good and balanced Decathlon with maybe the only failure coming in the Discus Throw and then a slow result in the 1500m with no World record in sight.

But to put the 8869p tally in context, it’s still the second best result ever at the Olympics, better than former World record holder Dan O’Brien’s 8824 in Atlanta 1996 and Bryan Clay’s, both Americans, silver medal result 8820 in 2004.

Double World champion 2009/2011 Trey Hardee won silver for an American 1-2, the first since 1956. A 4:40.94 result in the 1500m ensured a silver for the 28-year-old with 8671 total points season’s best easily keeping Cuban Leonel Suárez behind him in the final event. Hardee came to London only with a 8383p season’s best from the Olympic Trials, but showed here that he is still at a top level. Hardee gave the final touches to his silver with a 66.65m season’s best in the javelin and then ran a good 4:40.94 1500m personal best in the final event surpassing a 4:42.23 from the 2006 NCAA Championships.

The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Suárez ran the 1500m calmly knowing he didn’t have a chance to catch Hardee, clocking 4:30.08 for a 8523p season’s best. Like Hardee, Suárez also entered the Olympic competition with a lowly 8289p season’s best, but again showed that he is in shape when it matters. Despite his young age, the 24-year-old has now won a medal in four straight major championships starting with a bronze in Beijing 2008. He also won the silver in Berlin 2009 and a bronze in Daegu 2011 before another Olympic bronze in London 2012.

As predicted, the fight for the fourth place was fierce with Belgian Hans Van Alphen going out strong for the 1500m. The 30-year-old went on to win in 4:22.50 just managing to keep Canadian Damian Warner enough behind him to grab the fourth place in the competition with 8447 total points. 22-year-old Warner was a real superman in this Decathlon coming to London with a 8107p personal best and ending up fighting for the medals in the end. The Ontario athlete scored 8442 points after a 4:29.85 personal best in the last event for an amazing seven personal bests including the decathlon score.

24-year-old German Rico Freimuth was sixth scoring 8320p, just 2 points less than his personal best earlier this season. Ukraine’s Oleksiy Kasyanov was seventh (8283p) and Russian Sergey Sviridov eighth (8219p).

Mirko Jalava for the IAAF

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