With his lead having reduced to 63 points after yesterday’s final event, Ashton Eaton increased his lead in the heptathlon by posting the fastest time in the first event of the second day, the 60m hurdles.
He clattered the third hurdle and brushed the fourth, but managed to stay on his feet and crossed the line in 7.78. That time, though, was some way down on his season’s best, meaning he would have to significantly improve his PB in one of the remaining events to beat his heptathlon world indoor record.
Ukraine’s Oleksiy Kasyanov improved his medal chances by posting the second-fastest time of the day with 7.91. The 2012 world indoor silver medallist has moved from third to second in the overall standings, but is relatively weak in the final two events and so may struggle to maintain that position.
USA’s Curtis Beach had his first disappointment of his series, running just 8.45 to drop from fourth to sixth in the overall standings. But if he performs as expected in the final two events, he still looks set to take a medal.
Germany’s Mathias Brugger will also be in the hunt for a medal after clocking a season’s best of 8.24 in the 60m hurdles to move from sixth to fifth overall.
With just the pole vault and 1000m remaining, Eaton has a 177-point lead. The world record may be a big ask, but he still looks set to produce a score better than any other athlete in history has achieved.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF