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Visiting the restroom before the final event in the decathlon, American Ashton Eaton began to doubt he could improve upon his world record set at the 2012 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. He would need to average 69-second laps in the 1500m (or a time of 4:18.25) to eclipse his previous record point total of 9,039.

''Man, I haven’t done a decathlon in a while, and I'm obviously, like, pretty tired. It's just little things in my mind. I don't think I can run that fast. This, that and the other thing.''

— Ashton Eaton, decathlon world record holder


Going into the final lap at the World Track and Field Championships, Eaton had only 64 seconds remaining to chase down his record. Heading into the final straightaway, it looked like his chances were slipping away, but the former Oregon Duck located a hidden reserve of strength to finish in 4:17.52.

Eaton’s new decathlon world record of 9,045 is only the third time in history the 9000-point barrier has been breached. Former Olympic and World decathlon champion Daley Thompson now thinks 9,200 is within the realm of possibility for Eaton. The 2016 Rio Olympics may provide the perfect venue for another history making run.


In the meantime, Eaton can lay claim to title of World’s Greatest Athlete of All Time, although Nanu (Jan-Michael Vincent) may beg to differ…