The world champion, the Olympic champion and the latest heptathlon world record holder in one and the same contest this summer?
Here are some facts from interviews and research on Trey Hardee, Bryan Clay and Ashton Eaton, the three musketeers of the American decathlon. Being the 2009 world champion, Trey Hardee’s participation doesn’t depend on qualifying at the United States Trials. He go’s anyway and the word is that even three other Americans who qualify at the US Trials can join him to go to Daegu, that’s if they do 8200 points!
When Bryan Clay was asked about his expectations, he said that for the first time in history there is a possibility to see three Americans on the podium. Although we don’t know much about Bryan’s shape, we hope we can take this confident remark as a statement about his own form. The other two compatriots are also showing great shape.
Ashton Eaton improving pbs all the time as he ran again a 110 meters hurdles in a personal record time of 13.35 last weekend and Trey Hardee on top of the world with 8689 points in Götzis. When Trey was asked about what events he expected the most from he said he expected from all his events good results. “My training has been going well. As you probably know I threw this winter almost 16 meters in the shot put. Technically I need more work but in training I’m really happy with my throwing events and I run fast!” Asked about progress in the weightlifting room he said “My training in this respect was certainly very satisfying.” About the other American athletes and who’s going to win the UST his comment was that “this is very hard to say, the trials are always a real challenge. Ashton and Bryan will probably compete at a very high level. “ His main rival? “I don’t have rivals.” Okay then “who’s your most important opponent ?” “Myself. It’s a fight with myself!” That’s the true decathlon spirit I suppose.
Trey did a first day personal record (4553 p) in Götzis thanks to two other pr’s – one in the long jump (7.88) and an outdoors shot put pr of 15m63! His score after 3 events has only been done better by 6 athletes from which 4 world record holders. He was looking for a good score and was pleased with his 8689 points – a score that would even have been higher if it wasn’t of some misfortune in the throwing on the second day.
At the Milrose games this winter clay was asked about his adversaries. “This young guys are coming up and it’s so funny, because I remember it like it was yesterday when I was in the same position as Ash and Trey. “ If he had regrets? “On paper I have an amazing career. If God ended my career tomorrow, I would be a 100% satisfied with what I’ve been able to accomplish. I’ve done some things that certain real good decathletes have never been able to do.” Ashton Eaton on Bryan – “He was like a mentor for me. He gave me so much good advice. He’s going down the path I want to go also.” Trey Hardee – “Bryan is top 5 in the world ever. His the second best American decathlete ever and it’s not luck, it’s hard work and that shows what an amazing athlete he is !” “If you know Trey” said Bryan about Hardee “you know that he’s just massive, I mean if anybody has been gifted with the body of a decathlete, Trey’s having it. He’s what? 6 foot 5! So, do I think it favors him? Yes – I’m the short guy.” “About the three of us – we could be the top three in the world. America probably has never been in that position!”
Chris Vlamynck for Decathlon 2000