Athletics: Kevin Mayer beats world decathlon record

At the Decastar, Talence (Gironde), totaling 9,126 points, the French broke the world record held since 2015 by the American Ashton Eaton.

Kevin Mayer, Talence, September 16, 2018.

A bad for a good. The French decathlete Kevin Mayer did not hide his great frustration after his retirement at the European Championships in Berlin, early August, following a failed long jump event. The world champion in title decathlon (four races, three jumping events and three launch) had, however, very quickly decided to pass to something else, setting an appointment: the Decastar of Talence (Gironde), one of the mecca of the decathlon. With one goal: do not finish his season on this failure.

Successful bet. And oh how! Sunday, September 16, at the end of the two days of this Decastar, Kevin Mayer not only ended the competition by beating his record of France, but, above all, he broke the world record, held by the American Ashton Eaton since 2015: the French decathlete scored 9,126 points, compared to 9,045 points for the American.

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The previous O'Brien

Chance of history? On the same track of Talence, on September 5, 1992, the American Dan O'Brien had also made fall a world record: the then three-time world champion in the decathlon had erased the British Daley Thompson's performance with a total of 8,891 points.

However, Dan O'Brien also came out of a big disappointment: he had missed the Olympics in Barcelona that year, for which he nevertheless appeared as the favorite.

Sacred world champion of decathlon in 1991 in Tokyo, the American had not managed to crossin June 1992, the stage of American selections. He, too, had gone through a totally unsuccessful jump test: the pole vault – which is one of his specialties – in which he had scored a sharp zero, synonymous with a non-Olympic qualification.

"A thorough training cycle"

For this Decastar, a race in which he had not participated since 2012, Kevin Mayer had "Redo a training cycle thoroughly". After Berlin, the decathlete had changed his program, reducing his vacation, re-doing physical training (bodybuilding, aerobic cycling) and emphasizing the long jump.

"He handled this period well by assuming failure. I find him in excellent physical shape and he wants. All the indicators are good so that he makes a beautiful decathlon in Talence ", had warned his coach Bertrand Valcin, before the appointment of this weekend.

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"Berlin was a mistake of course"

There was one thing Kevin Mayer did not really want hear speak, but everyone spoke to him about it: it was the possibility that he could beat the world record at Talence.

He declared himself " tired " that we constantly talk about this subject. While admitting that this record was within reach: "The world record is always in the corner of the head. I know I have the potential. "But a decathlon is special"he warned immediately.

"It has all the ingredients for arrive to beat the world record, assured his coach, before Talence. When I compare the 2016 Kevin who is over 8,800 points and today's, there is a world of difference that obviously brings him closer to a potential record. "

This weekend, Kevin Mayer showed that this was the case. For make to break the French record and the world record, he notably broke his personal records in the 100m, the pole vault, the javelin and the long jump. Like what "Berlin was a mistake of course," like Kevin Mayer had the opportunity to say, as of Saturday.

Some French precedents

Before Kevin Mayer, some French athletes also had the joy of breaking a world record. In 2014, during his victory at the European Championships, Yohann Diniz set a new record of 50 km walk. The same year, at the pole vault, Renaud Lavillenie had dropped in early 2014, the record held by the Ukrainian Sergueï Bubka for 21 years.

Before him, in 1983, Pierre Quinon and Thierry Vigneron had also successively beaten the world record of the time.

Another discipline: the relay 4 x 100 m. At the European Championships in 1990, Max Morinière, Daniel Sangouma, Jean-Charles Trouabal and Bruno Marie-Rose had the fastest time in the world. Three years earlier, in the 200m indoor, Bruno Marie-Rose had become the fastest in the world.

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