Ashton Eaton may have been slightly down on his best in the 60m, but he made up the deficit in the long jump, the second event of the heptathlon.
He opened with a 7.85m leap, a significant improvement on his season’s best, and then sailed out to 8.08m in the second round, his best jump indoors or outdoors since the 2012 US Trials.
After just two events, Eaton has already built up a lead of almost 200 points. If he matches his recent bests in each of the remaining events, he has a good chance of surpassing his own world indoor record.
“This event is kind of my bread and butter, but I’ve been struggling with it for a while in practice and competition,” he said. “I got fired up, and thought, ‘go for it’.
“I passed my final attempt because I’m getting old,” he joked. “I just wanted to conserve my energy and start getting ready for the shot put and high jump later.”
US compatriot Curtis Beach produced the second-best mark of the day with a season’s best of 7.65m, 16 centimetres farther than Oleksiy Kasyanov’s best mark of the day.
Kasyanov is currently second in the overall standings from Beach, but the latter can be expected to make up significant ground in the final two events of the heptathlon tomorrow.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF