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Ashton Eaton savors new world record in decathlon (+video)

Ashton Eaton finished the US Olympic trials with 9,039 points and beat the 11-year-old world record in the decathlon by 13 points. Ashton Eaton joins Americans Bruce Jenner, Dan O'Brien, Bob Mathias, and Rafer Johnson as world record holders in the decathlon.

Ashton Eaton sets new world record in decathlon
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Ashton Eaton likes to compare decathlons to life — the ups and downs, the good and bad, the setbacks and comebacks.

Over two dreary days that finally closed with a bright ray of sunshine, Eaton found out just how good life can be.

He's the world-record holder in the decathlon, the cream of the crop in the hallowed and history-filled event that has long identified the world's greatest athlete.

Needing a personal best in the grueling finale, the 1,500 meters, to get the record, Eaton came through Saturday night in the U.S. Olympic trials, running the last event in 4 minutes, 14.48 seconds to finish with 9,039 points and beat Roman Sebrle's 11-year-old mark by 13 points.

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"It's like living an entire lifetime in two days," Eaton said. "It doesn't mean that much to the rest of the world, but to me, it's my whole world. To do the best that I possibly could in my world makes me pretty happy."

Eaton joined the likes of Bruce Jenner, Dan O'Brien, Bob Mathias and Rafer Johnson among the Americans who have held the world record. He did it on the 100th anniversary of the first Olympic decathlon — and many of the American greats who have made history in the event were on hand to watch Eaton.

"I thought he showed some real courage," Johnson said. "He hung in there and figured out a way to win. He was brilliant in everything he did."

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