American Ashton Eaton Wins Gold In Decathlon, Trey Hardee Gets Silver

The title of "World's Greatest Athlete" now belongs to Ashton Eaton of the United States.

Just a bit more than six weeks after breaking the world record in the event, Eaton won gold in men's decathlon on Thursday at the 2012 Summer Olympics, finishing with 8,869 points. Fellow Team USA member and two-time defending world champion Trey Hardee won the silver (and the title of "World's Second-Greatest Athlete?") with 8,671 points. It marks the first time Americans went 1-2 in the Olympic decathlon since Milton Campbell and Rafer Johnson accomplished the feat in 1956. (The last time any two countrymen took the top two spots in the event was 1988, when Germans Christian Schenk and Torsten Voss took gold and silver, respectively.)

Cuba's Leonel Suarez won his second consecutive bronze medal, totaling 8,523 points to hold off Belgium's Hans van Alphen. Roman Šebrle of the Czech Republic -- who won gold medalist at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens and held the world record in the event before Eaton came along -- did not finish, withdrawing due to injuries.

Decathlon is a two-day, 10-event competition. Day 1 consists of the 100 meters, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400m, and Day 2 includes the 110m hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500m.

Eaton had the best performance in three of the disciplines, winning the 100m, long jump and 400m. He also finished tied for second in high jump and took third in pole vault. In the final event of the competition, the 1500m, Eaton placed seventh, finishing in a time of 4 minutes, 33:59 seconds. He needed to run 4:29.86 to break the Olympic record of 8,893 points.

Eaton becomes the second consecutive American to win men's decathlon, following Bryan Clay's gold medal in Beijing. It's the first time the U.S. has won back-to-back golds since 1956 and 1960.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics hub.

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