Ashton Eaton of the USA competes during the decathlon at the Rio Olympic Games.
Ashton Eaton of the USA competes during the decathlon at the Rio Olympic Games. DAVE HUNT

Olympic champion decathlete calls it quits

ATHLETICS: Two-time Olympic decathlon gold medallist Ashton Eaton has called it quits aged 28.

Eaton, who also holds the indoor and outdoor world record for the 10-discipline event, won his second Olympic title in Rio last year after taking the gold four years earlier in London.

His 28-year-old wife, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who won heptathlon bronze in Rio, will also join her husband in retirement.

"Frankly there isn't much more I want to do in sport,” Eaton said on his website.

"I gave the most physically robust years of my life to the discovery and pursuit of my limits in this domain.

"Did I reach them? Truthfully I'm not sure anyone really does. It seems like we tend to run out of time or will before we run out of potential.”

The pair won gold in their respective events at the world indoor championships last year in Eaton's hometown of Portland, Oregon.

Theisen-Eaton had also been looking for gold in Rio but was beaten by Belgium's Nafissatou Thiam, who won the event, and Britain's Jessica Ennis-Hill.

"I gave the last four years everything I could. I put my life on hold,” she wrote on the couple's website.

"Track and field was the priority before everything else.

"But I've done it.

"I no longer have the passion for track and field or the heptathlon that I used to because I know I can't advance any further in the sport; I've given it all I can, and I refuse to come back and half-ass it because I love and respect this event and sport too much.

"With that, I've decided to retire.”


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