Oregon native Ashton Eaton installed himself as a gold medal favorite at the 2012 Summer Olympics with a dominating victory at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials this weekend. Eaton set a new world record in the decathlon as he qualified for Team USA. Correspondent Tom Banse reports from the Olympic Trials in Eugene.
Ashton Eaton was just short of world record pace entering the final lap of the final event of the Olympic Trials decathlon. The hometown crowd rose to its feet and roared to propel the former University of Oregon Duck. The weary athlete responded, and how.
In the end, Ashton Eaton surpassed the world record for the ten-event endurance test.
"With 400 (meters) to go, I knew I was two seconds off. And I knew there was no way I was not going to get the world record – in large part because of the atmosphere around the stadium," Eaton said.
If you’re a track and field fan, he scored 9039 points - 13 more than the previous world record set in 2001.
Former decathlon record holders Bruce Jenner and Dan O’Brien were waiting at the finish line to welcome Eaton into the elite fraternity who’ve carried the title of being the “world’s greatest athlete.” Eaton’s performance now makes the native of Bend, Oregon the man to beat at the London Games.
Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio