Eaton and Adams shine, Kilty claims shock 60m win
American Ashton Eaton wins the men's heptathlon 1000m heat 1 event at the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in the Ergo Arena in the Polish coastal town of Sopot, on March 8, 2014 - by Johannes Eisele
American combined events king Ashton Eaton retained his heptathlon title, missing out on bettering his own world record in the gruelling seven-discipline event by just 1.18 seconds.
At the same time, New Zealand's Valerie Adams defended her shot put gold with another outstanding display, dominating her rivals and further ensuring her place in the pantheon of all-time field greats.
Day two of the three-day competition also saw Brazil's Mauro Vinicius Da Silva retain his long jump title.
But there was no such luck for Australian Sally Pearson, silver medallist in the 60m hurdles, Morocco's Abdelaati Iguider, bronze medallist in the 1500m, or Costa Rica's Nery Brenes, last in the men's 400m.
The blue running track at Sopot's Ergo Arena was also witness to a shock victory in the men's 60m by Kilty, a late replacement for injured teammate James Dasaolu.
The 24-year-old made a storming start and held his form to time a personal best of 6.49 seconds for a remarkable gold, ahead of rivals such as 2010 champion Dwain Chambers and multi-relay medal-winning Jamaican Nesta Carter, the fifth fastest athlete of all time over 100m.
But the day's real excitement belonged to Ashton, left gasping for air after cruelly failing to better the heptathlon world record and ruing the fact he was "not a robot".
Eaton, whose Canadian wife Brianne Thiesen Eaton won silver in the women's pentathlon on Friday, was overnight leader after the first four events (60m - 6.66sec, long jump - 7.78m, shot put - 14.88m, high jump - 2.06m).
On Saturday, he timed 7.64sec in the 60m hurdles before nailing 5.20m in the pole vault, leaving himself the goal of running 2:33.54 or faster in the final event, the strength-sapping 1,000m.
- Good family effort -
Leading from the front, Eaton pushed himself all the way, but was left needing to run a final 200 metres in 28 seconds, something that fell 1.18sec beyond an athlete who is also the current world and Olympic decathlon champion and world record holder.
"I'm happy, but I wish I could have got the world record," said Eaton, who missed out on what could have been a $50,000 (36,000 euros) bonus for a new world record.
Eaton eventually crossed the line in 2:34.72 for a total of 6,632 points in the indoor seven-discipline event, 13 short of the world record of 6,645 he set when winning the indoor title in Istanbul in 2010.
"It's hard to break the world record every time. It was a good competition overall, and my wife did well, so it was a good family effort," Eaton said.
For Adams, it was another masterful display and justified her return to action after surgery on her ankle and knee.
"It is very, very sweet," a buoyant Adams said. "Over the last six months, I've been training and rehabilitating after surgery. We didn't want to push it which is hard to do because I love competitions.
"It is what I work for. It is what I crave every day. I love the competitions, everything about track and field. I love my life. This is my job and I love my job."
Despite shining in qualification, Pearson had to be content with silver, 0.05sec behind American Nia Ali, who clocked a personal best of 7.80sec in the 60m hurdles.
Unheralded British sprinter Kilty said he had thrived on his underdog tag, hailing his victory as "compensation" for not making the UK team over the last four seasons.
"Even yesterday, people were telling me I should be happy to be here and I felt like an underdog," said a visibly stunned Kilty.
"Nobody was thinking of me as a favourite and I showed them they were all wrong."