Ashton Eaton continued his march towards his first World Championships gold medal in the opening event of the second day in the Decathlon in Moscow.
The 25-year-old posted a great start to the day, clocking 13.72 in the 110m Hurdles. The race wasn’t without its problems and the World record-holder too had a minor scare, hitting the second hurdle. The Olympic champion now leads the competition with 5513 points and provided he gets a solid result in every event, it currently looks unlikely that anyone will get within 200 points of him.
There were some significant changes at the top of the Decathlon. US 20-year-old Gunnar Nixon, the 2012 World junior champion, is still in second place with 5395 points after a 14.57 season’s best hurdling performance, just 0.06 seconds off his personal best.
The strongest German medal candidate at this stage, Michael Schrader, had a decent 14.29 hurdles race, but was probably expecting to score a few more points to gain some ground before the last four events. The 26-year-old is in third place with 5364 with Canadian Damian Warner just three points behind.
Warner, who was a real surprise at the Olympics with a fifth-place finish there, is well ahead of his Olympic series and going for a score around 8500, which may be enough for a medal. He clocked 13.96 in the 110m Hurdles and has 5361 points after six events.
Rico Freimuth of Germany is in fifth with 5283 after a 13.90 hurdles mark, but he will likely be overtaken later in the competition.
One who will be rising to a medal position is Dutchman Eelco Sintnicolaas, who is now in sixth place with 5269 points. The 26-year-old European indoor champion was looking to go well under 14 seconds in the 110m Hurdles behind Eaton, but lost his balance after the eighth hurdle and was lucky to finish in 14.18, which is actually only 0.28 seconds below his personal best and keeps him in contention for medals.
Germany’s 2012 European champion Pascal Behrenbruch hurdled to 14.46 and still has a sight at the medals as his last four events are extremely strong. He is now in ninth place with 5174 points.
After hitting barriers in their respective races, this event also saw the exit of Oleksiy Kasyanov and Ingmar Vos.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF