Eaton, Gatlin steal the show at world indoor track meet

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ISTANBUL — Ashton Eaton, of the United States, set his third heptathlon world record in as many years to win gold Saturday at the world indoor championships, and Justin Gatlin highlighted an all-American day by taking the 60-meter dash.

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Ashton Eaton celebrates winning the men's heptathlon during the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Istanbul.  Martin Meissner/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Martin Meissner/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ashton Eaton celebrates winning the men's heptathlon during the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Istanbul.

Eaton dominated the two-day competition, capping it with a big 1,000-meter win. He broke the mark he set last year by 77 points with a total of 6,645, and clinched the gold medal to earn $90,000.

“I was good, fit and healthy,” Eaton said. “If all things went well, I knew I would be able to do it.”

Gatlin earned his first gold since serving a four-year doping suspension, chasing down Nesta Carter, of Jamaica, to win in 6.46 seconds.

That was 0.08 seconds better than Carter and ahead of defending champion Dwain Chambers, of Britain, who took bronze.

“It feels like I am reborn again,” said Gatlin, insisting he would be gunning for the Olympics at age 30, eight years after winning the Olympic 100 title at the Athens Games.

Sanya Richards-Ross, of the United States, won 400 gold in 50.79 seconds, beating Russian Aleksandra Fed­oriva by a massive 0.97 seconds.

“I’m happy that I came out and took the lead early,” said Richards-Ross, who avoided the bunch-up halfway through the race by running in front.

Eaton took the lead Fri­day with a personal best of 26 feet, 9 ¼ inches in the long jump. He also won the 60 meters, 60-meter hurdles and pole vault, making up for third-place finishes in the shot put and high jump. And there was no stopping him in the 1,000 as he knew another world record was on the line.

“Every 200 meters, I would look at the clock and I was thinking, ‘Geez, I’m kind of falling off pace. Pick it up. Pick it up.’ It’s hard when you’re running by yourself,” Eaton said. “You don’t have that person to chase. But I was chasing a record.”

Chaunte Lowe, of the United States, won the high jump over outdoor champion Anna Chicherova.

Genzebe Dibaba added to her Ethiopian family dynasty by winning the 1,500 title in 4 minutes, 5.78 seconds, two seconds ahead of Mariem Alaoui Selsouli, of Morocco.

“This is the first major victory of my career,” Dibaba said. “It was tough, but I am happy to start the Olympic year with this world title.”

Her sisters are two-time Olympic gold medalist Ti­runesh Dibaba and 2004 Olympic 10,000 silver medalist Ejegayehu Dibaba.

Abdalaati Iguider won the men’s 1,500 for Morocco, going past Ilham Tanui Ozbilen of Turkey in the final yards to deny the cheering crowds of a hometown win.


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