Ashton Eaton is the red hot favorite to successfully defend the gold medal he won at London 2012, He has dominated the sport in recent years and goes into the event as the sports betting favorite.
Ashton Eaton is the red hot favorite on sports betting odds to successfully defend the gold medal he won at London 2012 when the decathlon final takes place at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday. He has dominated the sport in recent years and goes into the event as world and Olympic and world record holder, so he should have little trouble fending off the pretenders to his throne and topping the podium once more on Wednesday.
Eaton is probably the best all-round athlete in the world, but he is not anywhere near as famous as the likes of Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin and so on as the decathlon is not among the most popular track and field events among fans and doesn't make for the greatest TV highlights as it is such a broad and drawn out event. But among the athletic community, it is a hugely respected event and Eaton is peerless. And the common no-brainer betting pick for this event.
He was a high school star growing up in Portland, Oregon and showed promise in the 100m and the long jump, but lacked the potential to be the world's best in either. Coaches spotted his talent as an all-rounder thanks to his powerful physique, and suggested he start competing in the decathlon. “Sure,” he said. “What's the decathlon?”
He knows all about it now after heading to the University of Oregon, learning the ropes and placing fifth at the US Olympics trials in 2008, aged just 20. He improved rapidly over the next four years and broke all sorts of world records in the 2012 trials. His 10.21 in the 100m and his 8.23m in the long jump were the best any decathlete had ever achieved. He went on to set a decathlon world record of 9,039 and qualified for the London Games as the USA's main man.
Eaton – who is married to Canadian heptathlon star Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who just won a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics – continued the outstanding form at the London Games. He won the gold medal comfortably. His score of 8,869 was not as good as his performance in qualifying but it didn't need to be as he beat silver medallist Trey Hardee by more than 150 points and had it sewn up before the final event.
The best was yet to come as last year, at the World Championships in Beijing, Eaton broke his own world record, scoring 9,045. Since 2012, all he has known is gold, and there is no reason why that should change in Rio. At 28, Eaton is now in his prime and could well go on to win another gold in Tokyo in four years' time. At Rio, nobody looks able to seriously test him. He has recorded the two best scores in history. Second favorite Damian Warner's personal best is number 61 on the all time list, a full 350 points behind the world record Eaton set last year. The odds are short and deservedly so as it looks as though nobody can stop Eaton becoming the first back-to-back Olympics decathlon winner since 1984. He is currently the overwhelming favorite at Bovada at -1000.
Here are the odds for the Olympics men's decathlon gold, as of August 16:
- Ashton Eaton (USA) -1000
- Damian Warner (CAN) +700
- Rico Freimuth (GER) +2200
- Jeremy Taiwo (USA) +4000
- Larbi Bourrada (ALG) +4000
- Zach Ziemek (USA) +5000
- Kai Kazmirek (GER) +5000