Don't count on another Olympic decathlon record: Eaton
New decathlon world record-holder Ashton Eaton warned Monday not to expect the mark of 9,039 points to be bettered when he makes his Olympic debut next week.
Eaton set a new record at the US Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, last month, breaking Czech Roman Sebrle's old mark from 2001 by 13 points.
He had already set the indoor heptathlon world record in Istanbul in March, following a silver medal showing at the 2011 world outdoors in Daegu, South Korea, where he finished behind compatriot Trey Hardee.
But Eaton said a repeat was highly unlikely given all the pressures that come with the Olympic Games such as the punishing schedule of the 10-discipline event and a larger number of rivals, creating longer waits and less rhythm in jumping events.
"Getting a personal best? I'm definitely not going to try for that," Eaton said.
"It's unrealistic to think I'm going to get another world record, especially at the Olympic Games. There are lots of things that happen mentally and physically.
"Because of what I did in Eugene helped me mentally, my chances are good," he added.
"Some of my marks weren't the best and I did some things that were good but there's a lot of room for improvement. I feel really good. I'm confident in my abilities."
But the 24-year-old Eaton, standing 1.85m (6ft 1in) tall and weighing 84kg, hinted that breaking the 9,000-point mark could be feasible.
"I think it's possible because it's an elevated competition and we're all going to rise to the occasion," he said, adding that he had come away from Daegu having learnt some valuable lessons.
"In Daegu, I mentally broke myself down... I got down on myself. I learnt you just have to compete."
Eaton admitted that a global profile like Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt was not on his agenda.
"It's not my goal," he said. "I just really like competing in the decathlon.
"As for a global profile, if it comes, great. If not, I'm indifferent."
Eaton will be partnered in London by Hardee, but hopes of a US sweep of the decathlon podium were dashed when reigning Olympic champion Bryan Clay failed to make the team.
Eaton and Hardee have been training and competing at low-key events in Germany since the US trials, something Eaton insisted had been crucial after his world record.
The break had allowed him "to come back down to reality", he said.--(AFP)
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