Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Ashton Eaton ties Olympic record, but it's Bolt's show again

19 August 2016, 15:45

Rio de Janeiro — Ashton Eaton retained his title as the best all-around athlete in the world by tying the decathlon Olympic record and, within minutes, had stepped back for track and field's ultimate superstar to take center stage again.

What more could the now two-time Olympic champion Eaton do Thursday night to get just a little sliver of the limelight that beams down so brightly on Usain Bolt?

Not much.

"I had the pleasure of being in the same era as Usain Bolt," Eaton said. "I mean, the guy's last name is Bolt, he's the fastest man ever, you can't write a story like that."

You can try.

For his own tale, Eaton made it back-to-back Olympic and world titles in the decathlon, an event the American has ruled since he rebounded from silver at the worlds in 2011 to claim the next four major gold medals available. From throwing, to jumping, to running, Eaton can do it all.

But then Bolt — a Jamaican who just deals in speed — roared around the bend at the Olympic Stadium to win the 200 meters in 19.78 seconds, completing act two of his three-part quest for gold and history in Rio.

Also read: Jamaican quartet keep Bolt's 'triple triple' quest on track

Maybe there was some comfort for Eaton — and loads of other athletes looking to be the one to shine — with Bolt's suggestion afterward that he's nearly done.

"On the straight, my body didn't respond. I'm getting old," said Bolt, who was trying to break his own world record of 19.19.

Friday's 4x100-meter relay final is all that's left now between Bolt and an historic three golds at three straight Olympics. Concentrating on not messing that up for Bolt, a Jamaica team led by Asafa Powell got into the final in a pretty important moment for the big man's legacy. They only finished second in their heat behind Japan, but Jamaica's in.

"There was some pressure to make it to the finals," Powell said, relieved he didn't have to deliver any bad news as Bolt prepared for the 200 final.

Wednesday produced an "awesome hour" for the U.S. track team, according to Tianna Bartoletta. By Thursday night, that had evolved into a pretty great 24 hours.

Alongside Eaton's triumph, Ryan Crouser led an American one-two in the shot put, also setting a new Olympic record of 22.52 meters to win his first major title from world champion Joe Kovacs.

Dalilah Muhammad kept the U.S. total ticking on with gold in the women's 400-meter hurdles and Ashley Spencer added a bronze, with another American 1-2 only just thwarted by Denmark's Sara Slott Petersen. Kerron Clement also won his first individual Olympic gold in the 400-meter hurdles.

"We are making history out here," Muhammad said of the U.S. team's gold rush.

The crowd at a near-full Olympic Stadium was constantly reminded of that with a series of medal ceremonies through the day, most of them starting with: "O say can you see..."

With three days remaining, the United States was up to 24 medals in track and field, eight of them gold. The U.S. won 29 medals, including nine golds, in London.

For a few short moments, the U.S. women's 4x100 relay team was a little like Bolt: They were the only ones everyone was looking at.

Leading off, Bartoletta nestled into the starting blocks in lane 2 for the team's re-run — all on their own and against the clock only — after they fumbled the baton in their original qualifier. The second chance came after a U.S. protest. With just that clock and the crowd for company, the Americans took the baton around in 41.77 seconds to reach the final.

"Our coach said before we went out there, 'It's just like practice, just the whole world will be watching," said English Gardner, who ran the third leg.

Eaton finished with 8,893 points, digging deep through the final lap of the last event, the 1,500 meters, to cross the line third, incredibly matching exactly the Olympic record after 10 events over two days.

"How can't there be one stinking point in there somewhere?" Eaton said.

Eaton had briefly darted away from the decathlon to congratulate Clement as his teammate knelt exhausted in the midday sun after winning the hurdles, an indicator of the feel-good surging through the U.S. track team right now.

Croatia's Sara Kolak won the women's javelin, another first-time Olympic champion like Crouser.

And South Africa's Caster Semenya, the outright favorite for the women's 800-meter title, qualified fastest for the final as she breezed to victory in her semifinal heat, unchallenged, in 1 minute 58.15 seconds.

Semenya, another compelling story at these games but for different reasons to Bolt, will run in the 800 final on Saturday.

By then, Bolt will be done at the Olympics forever.

"I've worked all my career, all my life, for this moment," Bolt said. "So hopefully people can read about me as the greatest."

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

- AP


Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...