France’s Kevin Mayer was looking for redemption for his failure at the European Championships in Berlin (GER) last month when he had no fair mark in the long jump and failed to win as expected.
He had a “second chance,” the annual Decastar event in Talence (FRA), where he could let loose. He’d already had a great season, setting personal bests in the 100 m, 110 m Hurdles, pole vault, shot and discus, so with a best of 8.834 from 2017, was the world record a possibility?
He started with another lifetime best of 10.55 in the 100 m, then another PR of 7.80 m (25-10 1/4) in the long jump, got a seasonal best of 2.05 m (6-8 3/4) in the high jump and had a good 400 m of 48.42 to give him 4,563 points for the first day. Clearly, Ashton Eaton’s 2017 mark of 9,045 was in reach … if Mayer didn’t blow up.
There was no let-up. Mayer opened with a near-PR of 13.75 in the hurdles, had a good discus of 50.54 m (165-10), then came two lifetime bests in successive events that made a new world mark possible: 5.45 m (17-10 1/2) in the vault and 71.90 m (235-11) in the javelin. He needed only a 4:49 in the 1,500 m, but produced a seasonal best of 4:36.11 to finish at a startling 9,126 points as the new world-record holder.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” said Mayer. “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 1,500 m.”
He’s the first French decathlete to hold the world record. The event-by-event comparison:
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In the women’s heptathlon, Germany’s Carolin Schaefer came in the clear favorite and did not disappoint, winning easily with 6,457 points for her second Decastar title (also in 2014). Summaries:
IAAF World Challenge/Decastar
Paris (FRA) ~ 15-16 September 2018
(Full results here)
Men/Decathlon: 1. Kevin Mayer (FRA), 9,126 (World Record; old, 9.045, Ashton Eaton (USA), 2015); 2. Arthur Abele (GER), 8,310; 3. Tim Nowak (GER), 8,229; 4. Pieter Braun (NED), 7,965; 5. Ruben Gado (FRA), 7,957. Also: 13. Steve Bastien (USA), 6,750.
Women/Heptathlon: 1. Carolin Schaefer (GER), 6,457; 2. Geraldine Ruckstuhl (SUI), 6,391; 3. Katerina Cachova (CZE), 6.381; 4. Xenia Krizsan (HUN), 6,244; 5. Grit Sadeiko (EST), 6,179. Also: 12. Allison Reaser (USA), 5,650.