Rio 2016: Pole Vault? Baseball? Where next for Ashton Eaton?


Two-time Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton has been told to abandon designs on a hat-trick in Tokyo by his coach, with the pole vault and baseball just two suggested career paths.

Eaton - world record holder in the multi-event discipline - retained his title at Rio 2016, adding another Olympic victory to his pair of World Championship golds.

A score of 8893 was 59 points clear of second-placed Kevin Mayer and enough to tie the Olympic Record, set by Roman Sebrle in 2004.

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However, Harry Marra has urged his athlete to call it a day in the decathlon at the age of 28, but believes he would be a success at whatever he turns to next in his glittering career.

"In the decathlon, he had some aches and pains this year," Marra told Sports Illustrated. 

"He's only 28 years old, but that's starting to get up there in age in the decathlon, in which you're pounding and starting to beat yourself up. 

"I don't know what he has left to accomplish. If he asks for my advice, I'd say: 'Don't do the decathlon anymore.' 

"There's more ways to screw it up anyway. Since 2011, when he was second [at the World Championships], he hasn't lost a decathlon. That doesn't happen. That's like going out and shooting birdies every time in golf. That doesn't happen, right? You're always going to knock one into the woods.

"He could be a great pole vaulter. 

"He jumped 26" 1' (7.90 metres) in this meet [in the long jump]. You know how many long jumps he’s taken since May 20? One. He jumped at the trials because he was injured.

"He could be a great short hurdler and in the 400 hurdles he can run 48.69. He can do a lot of things. You know what he told me maybe a year ago? 'Maybe I should try baseball when I’m done. I think I can hit.'"

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