Athletics

French decathlete Mayer smashes WR

Kevin Mayer (Getty Images)
Kevin Mayer (Getty Images)

Talence - World champion Kevin Mayer set a new world record in the decathlon with 9 126 points at the Decastar meet on Sunday to eclipse Ashton Eaton's previous mark of 9 045.

The Frenchman threw a personal best of 71.90 metres in the javelin in the penultimate event to leave him with the relatively simple task of needing to finish inside 4 minutes 49 seconds in the 1 500 metres.

The 26-year-old cruised home in 4:36 to become just the third decathlete to surpass the mythical 9 000-point barrier, joining double Olympic champion Eaton and Czech icon Roman Sebrle.

"I said perhaps without too much assurance that Berlin was a blessing in disguise, and I think I can now say it for sure," said Mayer, whose failure to register a mark in the long jump cost him a shot at the European title in Germany last month.

"Achieving the world record in Talence, it's the most beautiful of dreams I've just accomplished."

"I hope it's not the last world record I do, even if it's going to be very hard to beat it," he added.

Mayer put the recent disappointment of missing out on adding to his world crown and Olympic silver medal well and truly behind him on the opening day on Saturday with personal bests of 7.80m in the long jump and 10.55 in the 100m.

A shot put throw of 16m, then 2.05m on his third and last effort in the high jump and a 400m time of 48.42 earned him a total of 4 563 points at the midway stage.

Mayer opened Sunday with 13.75 in the 110m hurdles and threw a whopping 50.54m in the discus before excelling at the pole vault in front of a partisan crowd.

"That was an incredible display of ability! I'm super happy for @mayer_decathlon & even more for the future of the decathlon," tweeted American Eaton, who retired from athletics last year.

"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."

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