The Decathlon competition of the 14th IAAF World Championships in Moscow started in good conditions and with some promising results.
Ashton Eaton got his day off to an excellent start, clocking the second-fastest 100m time ever in a World Championships Decathlon, running 10.35 into a -0.5 m/s headwind.
This was exactly the start the 25-year-old US Olympic champion and World record-holder needed after some injury problems during the season. Eaton scored 1011 points in the first event and is now really the only favourite for the win here.
Other medal favourites started well too and this is shaping up to be one of the best ever Decathlons considering the results from the first event.
Canadian Damian Warner, who bettered his Decathlon personal best by a huge margin of 335 points at the London Olympics for fifth place, clocked 10.43 in the 100m, the fastest ever time by a non-US athlete in a World Championships Decathlon (Warner held the previous mark with 10.56 from Daegu 2011).
USA’s reigning World champion Trey Hardee, who has won the previous two titles in Berlin and Daegu, had a decent start, equalling his season’s best of 10.52. The 29-year-old will have to perform near his best in the remaining nine events if he wants to grab his third title though.
Competition for the medals will be hot as all three Germans, of which any one could win a medal, had a perfect start. Rico Freimuth, who is second on the 2013 Decathlon world list, clocked 10.60, just 0.06 away from the PB he set this season.
Michael Schrader clocked 10.73 and was a bit more behind, but the world-leading decathlete, 2012 European champion Pascal Behrenbruch, won his heat in a 10.95 season’s best.
And there are a few more athletes fighting for the medals here. The South American record-holder Carlos Eduardo Chinin of Brazil produced a 10.78 personal best in the 100m and Cuban Leonel Suarez started with a blast, clocking 11.07 in his first 100m race of the season. The 25-year-old Cuban has not competed all year with just one Javelin competition under his belt, but 11.07 is his fastest result at low-altitude since 2010.
Suarez has won four straight medals in global championships with an Olympic bronze medal in 2008 and 2012, and silver (2009) and bronze (2011) from World Championships. His four consecutive global Decathlon medals is a unique accomplishment; taking it to five would be creating history.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF