Athletics: France's Mayer breaks decathlon world record

France's athlete Kevin Mayer reacts after setting a new world record in the decathlon during the IAAF 'Decastar' World Combined Events Challenge in Talence, south-western France, on Sept 16, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - 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 event in Talence, France on Sunday (Sept 16).

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

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, by throwing a personal best of 71.90 metres in the javelin, Sunday's penultimate event.

He finished the decisive 1,500 metres in four minutes 36.11 seconds, having needed to clock 4:49 to break the record.

The performance came on the same day Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge eclipsed the world marathon record by a stunning one minute and 18 seconds when he ran 2:01:39 in Berlin.

"That was an incredible display of ability! I'm super happy for @mayer-decathlon & and even more for the future of the decathlon," Eaton said on Twitter.

"Important thing to me has always been to keep pushing the limit and inspiring others to do the same. The more 9K can become commonplace the better.

"This is another step toward the dream of 10k!" he added in an e-mail to Reuters.


Two-times American world champion Trey Hardee was equally impressed., "Bravo! 9126 WR in what was beyond the most balanced decathlon in history," Hardee tweeted.

"First time in history there were NO FLAWS. Just amazing!" Only three other times has the 9,000 point barrier been broken in the two-day 10-event competition.

Eaton did it twice, scoring 9,039 at the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials and 9,045 at the 2015 world championships. Czech Roman Sebrle was the first man to top 9,000 with his 9,026 haul in 2001.

"Interesting thing to note is all 9k decathlon's were by people aged ~27 (I was 24 on the first but 27 for my peak)," Eaton said in a Tweet.

Mayer signalled he was ready for a run at the world record when he scored 4,563 points in Saturday's opening five events. That put him within striking distance of Eaton's first-day 4,703 in 2015.

Competing in his home country, the Frenchman 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 running the 400m in 48.42 seconds.

He opened his second day by clocking 13.75 seconds in the 110m hurdles, throwing 50.54m in the discus and clearing 5.45m in the pole vault before his javelin and 1,500m.

It was the second time in three years two world records have been broken by two different athletes on the same day.

Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba (mile) and Djiboutian Ayanleh Souleiman (1,000m) eclipsed global records at the 2016 Stockholm indoor grand prix.

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