LONDON - World record-holder Ashton Eaton of Bend, Oregon won gold in the Olympic decathlon by 198 points on Thursday.
Eaton set the decathlon world record at the U.S. trials in June and backed it up with an Olympic victory with 8,869 points.
Two-time world champion Trey Hardee settled for silver with 8,671 points and Leonel Suarez of Cuba took the bronze, 346 points behind Eaton, at 8,523.
Eaton had a 151-point lead going into the final event, the 1,500 meters, and is a better middle-distance runner than Hardee. But there were still some nerves in the field, with a rare false start in the 1,500.
Eaton needed to slash six seconds off his fastest ever time in the 1,500 to break his world record, but ran a cautious race and finished well outside his personal best in 4 minutes, 33.59 seconds.
Eaton saw his lead trimmed to 99 points early on Day 2 by Trey Hardee, who had better performances in the hurdles and the discus throw in the morning, but Eaton distanced himself after the pole vault.
Eaton, 24, is a native of Bend, Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon.
Eaton cleared 5.20 meters in the pole vault to collect 972 points before deciding to quit and save himself for the javelin and 1,500 meters in the evening session.
Photos: Eaton wins Decathlon Gold
Eaton set a new world record in the decathlon at Hayward Field in Eugene en route to winning the U.S. Olympic Trials. Eaton's 9039 points broke the record previously held by Dan O'Brien. Both O'Brien and Gold Medal Decathlete Bruce Jenner were on hand at the Trials to see Eaton set the record.
Photos: Ashton Eaton at Olympic Trials