Daegu, Korea - It may not have been a vintage Decathlon Long Jump with no athlete even approaching the 8.00m mark but the closeness between the lead two – Trey Hardee and Ashton Eaton – was again amply illustrated.
In the battle within the battle, Eaton edged Hardee by just one centimetres to extend his overall lead to 25 points on his great rival. Yet within the bigger picture will Hardee the defending champion again be the happier? Hard to say, but perhaps both, though, will feel they could have performed a little better.
Hardee struggled to fire. A 7.45m (922pts) second round effort sandwiched by two fouls the sum of his efforts.
Eaton, the World indoor Heptathlon Record holder, also recorded a red flag in round one, before recording 7.46m with his next attempt. He broke the sand at 7.21m with his final effort but failed to improve. Going into the shot – the third discipline – Eaton leads with 1910pts from Hardee (1885).
The truth was that very few of the competitors will be elated with their efforts. True, conditions were overcast but generally the decathletes enjoyed the wind at their backs so the fact only two of competitors recorded a personal best was a surprise.
Ukraine’s Oleksiy Kasyanov, the fourth place finisher at the 2009 IAAF World Championships, advanced two places in the overall standings to third thanks to a best effort of 7.59m (957pts) – the second longest jump of the competition – and has accrued 1874pts.
Damian Warner slipped down a place to fourth overall with a best of 7.35m. The Canadian champion has a two-event points haul of 1859.
The big mover, though, was Belgian record holder Thomas van der Plaetsen. The European Under-23 champion produced the longest leap of the event with a lifetime best of 7.79m for 1007pts He now advances up from 23rd in the overall standings to fifth on 1824pts.
Eelco Sintnicolaas suffered a scare to register 7.29m with his final jump after the European silver medallists had committed two fouls. His 1798 points total puts him ninth overall.
Steve Landells for the IAAF