Eaton set for Millrose ahead of world indoors

NEW YORK (Feb 13, 2014): Reigning world and Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton (pix) of the United States compete at the 107th Millrose Games Saturday as he prepares for next month's World Indoor Championships.

Eaton is entered in the 60-meter hurdles and the men's pole vault at the meet, being staged for a third year at The Armory after a run from 1914 to 2011 at famed Madison Square Garden.

The athlete says he is in sufficient shape to break the world indoor heptathlon record he set two years ago in winning the title when he competes at the world indoors March 7-9 in Sopot, Poland.

"Based on the amount of time I have left before the world indoors, I think I am in shape to break the world record again," he said.

Eaton set the world heptathlon record of 6,645 points at the 2012 world indoors in Istanbul, then set a world record of 9.039 points in the decathlon at the US Olympic trials before capturing gold in London and at last year's world outdoors in Moscow.

"I took a big break after Moscow because 2011, 2012 and 2013 - that chunk together really taxed me," Eaton said.

"I started training late but based on the two competitions I've done so far this year, I don't really feel I've lost very much. I'm going into Poland doing pretty good."

Eaton ran the 60m in 6.73 seconds and set an indoor personal best of 15.05m in the shot put, both efforts ahead of those in his pentathlon world record performance from 2012.

He plans to train before the world indoors in Ireland, set to receive an invitation from the International Association of Athletics Federations based on his performances to date.

In his long-term plans with an eye toward defending Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and a world title in 2015, Eaton is planning to avoid multi-sport events this season after the world indoors.

"It's really important to get a rest in 2014," he said. "After doing '11, '12 and '13, I realised the amount of mental and physical stress your body takes and the preparation you need for it.

"Also as I get older - I'll be 28 by the time the next (Olympic) Games comes around - I'll need to have a nice year in 2014, just take a break, reflect and not really do any decathlons so that I don't have the stress of trying to perform well in that event."

Eaton said he anticipated the approach would prepare him well for competitions in 2015-2017. – AFP