After cutting Eaton’s margin to 99 points with better performances in the hurdles and the discus throw in the morning, two-time world champion Hardee lost ground again with an inferior mark in the pole vault.
He had 7,381 points and a decent cushion on Hardee, who only managed 4.80 in the pole vault after setting the best mark in the 110-meter hurdles (13.54 seconds) and the third-best throw in the discus at 48.26.
Germany’s Rico Freimuth moved into third place, 454 points behind Eaton, with 6,927 after a personal best in the pole vault of 4.90. Canada’s Damian Warner was in fourth position with 6,916 points and two events remaining.
The decathlon at the London Games has been a battle between the Americans. Eaton had a 220-point advantage over Hardee at the halfway point on Wednesday night, and the contest should go right down the 10th event.
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