Kevin Mayer had already established himself as a combined events superstar, but the French all-rounder elevated his status to an all-time great by smashing the decathlon world record in Talence on Sunday (16).
Had it not been for his three fouls in the decathlon long jump at last month’s European Championships in Berlin, Mayer most likely wouldn’t have competed at the Decastar meeting. But in the aftermath of that setback, the 26-year-old gained redemption in the best possible way: by smashing the world record.
In fact, it was the second world record of the day, coming just seven hours after Eliud Kipchoge clocked a stunning 2:01:39 at the Berlin Marathon.
Performing in front of a highly supportive home crowd, Mayer led from the outset, sprinting to 10.55 in the 100m, leaping 7.80m in the long jump, throwing 16.00m in the shot put, clearing 2.05m in the high jump and covering 400m in 48.42 to end the first day with 4563 points.
His momentum continued on the second day, speeding to 13.75 in the 110m hurdles, throwing 50.54m in the discus, clearing 5.45m in the pole vault, throwing 71.90m in the javelin before running the 1500m in 4:36.11, bringing his winning tally to 9126.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” said Mayer after adding 81 points to the world record set by USA’s Ashton Eaton at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015. “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 1500m.”
Multiple world and Olympic champion Eaton graciously expressed his admiration for Mayer’s achievement. “That was an incredible display of ability!” he tweeted. “I’m super happy for Kevin Mayer and even more for the future of the decathlon. The important thing to me has always been to keep pushing the limit and inspiring others to do the same. The more 9000 can become commonplace, the better.”