Kevin Mayer alternated between good and bad in the first three events of the decathlon of the World Championships in Eugene (Oregon) on Saturday, when he was in 5th place in the provisional classification.
The Olympic vice-champion first ran a good 100m in 10 sec 62, the 4th fastest of his career, doing better than at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.
Mayer (30) then jumped to 7.54m in length, a performance within his standards.
But the world record holder (9,126 points in Talence in 2018) missed his shot put at midday, with a best throw of 14.98 m, very far from his record (17.08 m), remaining prostrate for a few seconds after his 3rd and last try.
After three events, he is ranked 5th with 2,680 points, a distance from Canadian Olympic champion Damian Warner (2,846 points).
His total remains better than after three events at the Tokyo Olympics (2,662 points), where he ended up winning silver. Mayer’s strengths come in the second day of the decathlon.
Warner, on the other hand, is for the moment far from the level it had posted in Japan (2,846 against 2,966) and therefore gives hope to its competitors. The American Zachery Ziemek is currently 2nd (2,756 points).
The reigning German world champion Niklas Kaul is only 20th (2,407 points), far from his best level.
Saturday morning also held a few surprises in the 100m hurdles series.
World indoor champion in the 60m hurdles this winter in Belgrade, Cyréna Samba-Mayela suffered a setback when she was out due to an insufficient time (13 sec 15).
Laeticia Bapté qualified thanks to her time of 13 sec 03 for the semi-finals scheduled for Sunday at 5:05 p.m. (2:05 a.m. in France), two hours before the final.
“With my coach, we said to each other + we pass a round +. Each round is my final in quotes. I am already very happy”, she reacted.
The Americans Alaysha Johnson (fault on the 1st hurdle), 2nd best performer of the season, and Nia Ali (fall at the end of the race), reigning world champion, were eliminated.
Nigerian Tobi Amusan achieved the fastest time in 12 sec 40, a new African record.