With the London Olympics only a few weeks away, the world’s best decathletes are preparing themselves for the biggest competition in the world. To get used to the time and weather conditions in Europe, World Record holder Ashton Eaton and double World Champion Trey Hardee are currently training in Marburg, Germany, to get ready for the Games.
This Friday saw both US athletes compete against some of Germany’s best decathletes in a training meeting at Mörfelden, Germany. Amongst the German decathletes were Rico Freimuth and Jan-Felix Knobel, who will be, as well as European Champion Pascal Behrenbruch, competing in London.
The competition only involved the first three events of the decathlon’s second day: 110m hurdles, discus throw and pole vault. Due to constantly changing weather conditions not all athletes competed in all events to avoid taking any unnecessary risks.
Ashton Eaton clearly is the odds-on favourite, having set a new World Record of 9039points in the US Trials a couple of weeks back. Today he threw the discus almost 3meters further than he did in his WR decathlon. But when asked about how he thinks he will perform in London, the University of Oregon graduate stays very reserved saying: “It would be foolish to try and break the World Record again. The main aim is to get the US positioned one-two again.”
When asked who he sees as his strongest opponent, the 24-year old quietly points at his team mate Hardee with a grin and after a pause explains: “I can only speak for myself, but in the decathlon your toughest competitor is always yourself.”
Trey Hardee, who won gold in Daegu last year and in Berlin in 2009 is looking forward to the Olympics and says he is feeling very good and healthy this season. He does not want to give too precise ideas of where he expects to finish in London, but knowing that he is in great shape he says: “The outcomes take care of themselves as long as you can take care of yourself.” And by the looks of it the 28-year old knows how to take care of himself.
Next weekend both US decathletes as well as the reigning Olympic decathlon champion Bryan Clay (who did not qualify for London) and other top German decathletes will be competing one last time before the Olympics in celebration of a 100 years Olympic decathlon. Once they have passed that final test, London 2012 will have almost arrived.
Listen to what else the defending World Champion Trey Hardee had to say ahead of the Games in London.
For great action shots of all athletes at the meeting visit Gerson Poma ‘s page.
We are also currently working on the press conference video and hope to get it uploaded as soon as possible.