08 AUG 2012 Report

London 2012 - Event Report - Decathlon - 400m

Trey Hardee of the United States in action during the Men's Decathlon 400m Heats on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 8, 2012 (Getty Images)Trey Hardee of the United States in action during the Men's Decathlon 400m Heats on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 8, 2012 (Getty Images) © Copyright
The first day of the Decathlon concluded with the 400m, the fifth event, and the direction that started in the High Jump continued. Ashton Eaton of USA is on his way to his first major title outdoors after a good 46.90 run, almost matching the result from his World record series less than two months ago. The 24-year-old, who holds the World records in both the Decathlon and indoor Heptathlon and has won the World Indoor title in Heptathlon this winter, has scored 4661 points after the first day and is still only 67 points behind his 9039 WR and heading for an Olympic record and maybe his second career 9000p decathlon.

Fellow American Trey Hardee, the double World champion 2009/2011, is still the best pick for the silver having run a fine 48.11 season’s best and, competing in his first Olympic Games, is in second place after five events with 4441 points, a massive 220p behind Eaton.

Canadian Damian Warner is a surprise third, who had the best day one of his career capped by a 48.20 personal best in the 400m, already the third PB during the first five events. Warner has 4386 points in third and is heading for a big personal best already 238 points ahead of his 8107 PB from the 2012 Canadian Champs, but at the moment is still some way from the level needed for the medals here.

Behind Hardee, Cuban 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Leonel Suárez and Belgian record holder Hans Van Alphen, are fighting fiercely for the third medal and are still very close to the American, who can’t give up one inch, or the duo will pass him during the second day. Ukrainian Oleksiy Kasyanov is still in fourth place above these two, but despite a good 48.44 400m performance, he stands no chance in the last five events. Van Alphen is in fifth place only four points behind Kasyanov and set another season’s best in the 400m clocking 49.18 and is eight points ahead of his 2012 NR 8519 after the first day. But Suárez, who is very good during the second day, is already lurking behind him in sixth place with 4265 points and a successful 48.76 400m result.

Dutchman Eelco Sintnicolaas faded badly in the last two events of the day one and a 48.85 400m result was too far behind his personal best 47.88 (2010) and 48.02 from his personal best Decathlon in 2012. He is in 10th place, but is one of the best day two athletes, a Pole Vault specialist with a 5.45m personal best and will rise considerably in the rankings tomorrow.

Russian Sergey Sviridov continued well in the 400m clocking 48.91 and is in seventh place and has a possibility to keep his place in the top eight during day two. European champion Pascal Behrenbruch will not place in the top eight here. His first day was going badly enough without a disastrous 400m, which he finished in 50.04, considerably slower than the 48.54 he ran in Helsinki on his way to the European title.

Mirko Jalava for the IAAF