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Ashton Eaton sets decathlon record

BEIJING -- With a stirring run in the closing 1,500 meters on Saturday, Ashton Eaton set the world record in the decathlon.

Convinced beating his own mark was within his sights coming into the world championships, he was around world record pace throughout the 10 events over two days and, with exhaustion hanging heavy in the Bird's Nest, he pushed through pain to total 9,045 points, six better than his previous best.

His chest heaving, he crumpled to the track. Once he got up, he only had one thing on his mind: seeking out his wife, heptahlon silver medalist Brianne Theisen-Eaton, for an emotional embrace in the stands.

Damian Warner took silver with a Canadian record score, a massive 350 points behind Eaton. Rico Freimuth of Germany was third with 8,561 points.

Earlier, Mo Farah joined Usain Bolt with a third straight double in individual events at global competitions since winning the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the London Olympics. After defending the 10,000 title on the opening day last weekend, he had a relatively easy race in the 5,000 on Saturday.

Ever since the 2012 Olympics, Farah has been unbeatable over the long distance races and has six major gold medals to show for it. Only Bolt has done similar, and the Jamaican will stand out again in the evening session.

The double sprint gold medalist sat out the 4x100 heats, but his Jamaican teammates got the baton around in the fastest time of 37.41 seconds. Justin Gatlin, who has twice finished with silver behind Bolt in Beijing, helped the Americans win their heat.

"We are hungry," said Gatlin, who will go into the final with seven races in eight days under his belt -- one more than Bolt. "I hope he's tired, too."p

If Jamaica wins, Bolt will extend his record gold medal haul at the world championships to 11. On Saturday, Allyson Felix made sure she could catch him by the time the competition ends.

Winning the 400 on Thursday gave the American a ninth gold in a decade-long career. Since she helped qualify the 4x100 team for the final, and because she is expected to run in the 4x400 on Sunday, Felix could also reach 11 with a pair of American victories.

On a road just outside the Bird's Nest, Matej Toth of Slovakia won the longest event at the championships, taking gold in the 50-kilometer walk in 3:40:32. More than a minute later, Jared Tallent of Australia continued to specialize in silver, adding another to his two Olympic runner-up places.

Takayuki Tanii took bronze for Japan's first medal at the championships.

Adding to Russia's walking woes, Alexander Yargunkin did not start the 50K race amid reports that he didn't travel to China because of the recent doping scandal in his country.

But Russian high jumper Maria Kuchina later took gold ahead of Blanka Vlasic of Croatia. Anna Chicherova, another Russian, ended up with bronze. All three cleared 2.01 meters, but Kuchina won on a countback.

Marina Arzamasova of Belarus won the 800 in 1:58.03.

There was also gold at stake in the men's discus.