France’s Mayer smashes decathlon world record

Published September 18, 2018
FRANCE’S Kevin Mayer (R) competes in the men’s 110m hurdles race during the Decastar World Combined Events Challenge.—AFP
FRANCE’S Kevin Mayer (R) competes in the men’s 110m hurdles race during the Decastar World Combined Events Challenge.—AFP

TALENCE (France): France’s Kevin Mayer made up for recent disappointments in spectacular style when he set a decathlon world record of 9,126 points at the Decastar meet on Sunday.

World champion and Olympic silver medallist Mayer surpassed American Ashton Eaton’s 9,045 total at the 2015 world championships in Beijing.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” said Mayer after becoming the first Frenchman to hold the decathlon world record.

“We live for moments like this that are simply incredible. I couldn’t cry. I don’t have any more tears left because I was crying so much before the 1,500m.”

Mayer, 26, made amends for missing out on the European title in Berlin last month, where he failed to register a mark in the long jump.

“I said perhaps without too much assurance that Berlin was a blessing in disguise, and I think I can now say it for sure,” said Mayer. “Achieving the world record in Talence, it’s the most beautiful of dreams I’ve just accomplished. I hope it’s not the last world record I do, even if it’s going to be very hard to beat it.”

Mayer made a strong start, setting a personal best in the 100 metres and long jump, but Mayer was 140 points behind Eaton’s record after the first day. He was even more consistent on Sunday with 13.75 seconds in the 110 metres hurdles and a 50.54 metre throw in the discus.

Mayer cleared 5.45 meters in the pole vault and threw a personal best of 71.90 metres in the javelin, Sundays penultimate event, to leave him with the relatively simple task of needing to finish inside 4 minutes 49 seconds in the 1500 metres.

He cruised home in 4:36 to become just the third decathlete to surpass the mythical 9,000-point barrier, joining double Olympic champion Eaton and Czech icon Roman Sebrle.

The Decastar has been a major fixture of the season-end for years. Back in 1992, just after he missed out on the Barcelona Olympics, Dan O’Brien of the United States set a world record of 8,891 in Talence.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2018

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