August 28, 2011 / 2:30 PM / in 6 years

American Hardee retains world decathlon title

DAEGU, South Korea (Reuters) - American Trey Hardee retained his world decathlon title on Sunday after overhauling compatriot Ashton Eaton with third place in the discus.

<p>Trey Hardee of the U.S. competes in the javelin throw event of the men's decathlon at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu August 28, 2011. REUTERS/Phil Noble</p>

Hardee, who had been trailing Eaton after the first day of competition, finished with 8,607 points to Eaton’s 8,505. Cuban Leonel Saurez took the bronze with 8,501.

Eaton saw his chances of victory slip away after struggling in the discus, pole vault and javelin.

By the final event, the 1,500 meters, Hardee had enough of a cushion to cruise home in 14th place and still win the gold medal.

“With 300 metres to go I knew he was not going to get enough points to catch me,” he said of Eaton. “I wasn’t smiling on the outside but I was smiling inside.”

Suarez, who also took bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, threatened an upset by winning the javelin to move up to second. He dropped back to third after finishing fourth in the 1,500.

Editing by John Mehaffey

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