Ashton Eaton on world record pace in heptathlon


ISTANBUL (AP) -- Ashton Eaton took a big lead in the heptathlon Saturday at the world indoor championships and could beat his own world record for gold.

The American raced into the lead when the competition began Friday, setting a personal best of 26 feet, 9 1/4 inches in the long jump. He also won the 60 meters, 60-meter hurdles and the pole vault, making up for third-place finishes in the shot put and high jump. The seventh and last event, scheduled later Saturday, was the 1,000 meters.

The 24-year-old Eaton has 5,690 points, well ahead of Oleksiy Kasyanov of Ukraine (5,224 points) and Artem Lukyanenko of Russia (5,148 points).

Eaton has 55 more points than he did at the same stage when he set the world record last year in Tallinn, Estonia. His final score there was 6,568 points.