American decathlete Ashton Eaton is excited to start competing at the London Olympic Games, but the 24-year-old isn't thinking about another world record, he said.
"There's a lot of things that happen mentally and physically (at the Olympic Games) that I don't even know about yet because, of course, I've never been," Eaton said during a press conference in London. "That's just what people have said. I just -- I'm not going to go for a world record. I don't expect it."
While competing at the 2012 U.S. Track and Field Olympic Team Trials in Euguene, Ore., Eaton broke an 11-year-old decathlon world record, which was previously held by Czech athlete Roman Sebrle.
This time around, Eaton is simply trying to focus on being the best, rather than topping his personal-best score of 9,039 points, he said.
With that being said, Eaton is certain he has room to improve over his performance in Eugene. In fact, Eaton frequently says that, because so many different events are contested in a decathlon, that he will never turn in a perfect performance.
"(I'm) never going to be perfect in decathlon, but I think that's kind of the eternal struggle of the multi-events," Eaton said during the press conference. "That's kind of what attracts most athletes to it. You're always striving to get 10 perfect events and it just never happens."
In the decathlon, which is contested at the Olympic Games only among men, athletes spend two days competing in 10 different running, jumping and throwing events. After each event, a formula is used to award athletes a total score for the event. At the end of the competition, the athlete with the most points wins the gold medal.
Eaton, who is considered to be one of the best runners the decathlon has ever seen, likely has highest potential to improve and score more points in the throwing events.
But even big improvements might not result in another world record -- or event a gold medal, Eaton said. He'll likely face stiff competition from his American teammate Trey Hardee and Cuba's Leonel Suárez -- each of whom won medals at the 2011 World Championships.
"There's a lot of room for improvement for me, but (personal best), I'm definitely not going to try for that. It's unrealistic to think I'm going to get another world record, especially at the Olympic Games."
Ashton Eaton will compete in the first day of the Olympic decathlon on Aug. 8, 2012. The second day of competition is scheduled for Aug. 9, 2012.
Read more from this author: Setting a World Record Hasn't Dimmed Ashton Eaton's Drive to Be the Best
Sandra Johnson is a longtime Olympic fan. While working for the United States Olympic Committee and living in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Johnson had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46.