Decathlon WR holder Mayer books early Olympics ticket

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Kevin Mayer of France.
Kevin Mayer of France.
Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images

Decathlon world record holder Kevin Mayer booked his ticket for the Tokyo Olympics in a specially-arranged event on the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion on Saturday.

Mayer, the French 2017 world champion, scored 8 552 points, well within the 8 350 points set as the qualification standard by World Athletics.

The 28-year-old produced a personal best of 13.54sec in the 110m hurdles to set up a solid performance.

The only nervous moment came on Friday when Mayer fouled his first attempt in the long jump before achieving a cautious 7.40m with his second jump.

"I'm relieved. It takes off a lot of pressure and a burden has been lifted," he said after the competition in the French overseas territory.

Mayer won the silver medal behind American Ashton Eaton at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Ashton has retired and will not be competing in Tokyo.

The Frenchman, whose world record stands at 9126 points, had to drop out of the 2019 world championships in Doha due to injury.

Even as Mayer was securing his place at the Games, 20-year-old Australian Ashley Moloney marked himself out as a potential rival for the Olympic title as he set an impressive first-day total of 4613 in the Queensland championships.

"I'll burn him off," Mayer said with a smile. "A decathlon lasts two days but he's unbelievable. He's light years ahead of me at that age, and even now.

"I like the challenge from these young guys but I'm going to try to hold onto my territory."

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