Ashton Eaton in the heptathlon 60m hurdles at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot
Ashton Eaton started the second day of heptathlon explosively.
With another talented hurdler, Damian Warner, leading at the beginning of the race, Eaton wanted to win the race and passed the Canadian halfway to win in 7.64, just 0.04 seconds off his personal best.
The winning mark was the fastest ever time in the heptathlon 60m hurdles at the World Indoor Championships, betting his own mark of 7.68 from Istanbul two years ago. The US all-rounder is now nine points ahead of world record pace.
Eaton leads the competition more than comfortably with 4727 points, and if he were to match his marks from Istanbul – 5.20m in the pole vault and 2:32.77 in the 1000m – he would set a fourth straight world record in four heptathlon competitions.
The 26-year-old recently vaulted a 5.35m personal best at the Millrose Games in New York, so a record is a real possibility here.
Warner finished in second place in 7.70, just missing his 7.69 personal best set last month. The Canadian is in fourth place with 4443 points after five events, but his pole vault is not good enough for medals here.
Oleksiy Kasyanov equalled his personal best of 7.85 in the 60m hurdles and the Ukrainian is now only four points behind Andrei Krauchanka and has scored 4536 points. With only a 4.82m lifetime best in the pole vault, he has to do better in order to win a medal as both other athletes, Belarusian Krauchanka and Belgian Thomas Van Der Plaetsen, are excellent pole vaulters.
Krauchanka did well in the hurdles with 8.10 and is still the top pick for the silver medal. He has 4540 points for the second place and he also won the silver at the 2008 World Indoor Championships.
Van Der Plaetsen hurdled 8.16, only 0.1 seconds off his personal best earlier this season and with 4419 points in fifth place is the best choice for the bronze medal in this competition. Although he is 117 points behind Kasyanov, who is the bronze medal position now, he should beat the Ukrainian by more than 200 points in the next event, the pole vault.
German Kai Kazmirek ran 8.07 and has 4322 points for sixth place. Eelco Sintnicolaas of the Netherlands is in seventh with 4278 and Pascal Behrenbruch of Germany in eighth with 4134.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF