It is stratospheric! Kevin Mayer won his second decathlon world championship title in Eugene (Oregon) on Sunday July 24. Already crowned in 2017 in London, the Frenchman has accumulated 8,816 points, thus ahead of the Canadian Pierce Lepage (8,701 points). Third with two events remaining, Mayer turned the tide to bring the French delegation its very first medal in these World Athletics Championships.
He joined the very closed circle of French double world champions in athletics, until then composed of Marie-Josée Pérec (1991 and 1995 in the 400m) and Eunice Barber (1999 in heptathlon and 2003 in long jump).
However, he was only sixth halfway through, and was 200 points behind the provisional leader. In question, a missed shot put (14.98 m, very far from his personal best) which considerably reduced him. But Kevin Mayer has resources. He made up for this deficit in a very good way, relying on the pole and the javelin. His jump to 5.40 meters put him back on track, his throw to 70.31 meters made him untouchable. The 1,500 meters, the final test, definitely crowned him.
He did not beat his own world record (9,126 points in Talence in 2018), but the Frenchman still found a way to become part of the legend of his discipline for good. With two world championship titles, he joins Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee on the decathlon list.
“Happiness is exceptional”, savored Mayer in front of the cameras of France Télévisions. This feat was achieved at the cost of nagging pain. “But the pain is part of the fun!”, phosphorated the thirty-year-old athlete. His Achilles heel injury that sidelined him from the Indoor Worlds in Belgrade seems behind him, as does his damaging back pain in Tokyo.
Since it takes a nudge of fate to establish such a feat, Mayer “benefited” from Damian Warner’s retirement on Saturday. The Canadian had been the only one ahead of the Frenchman at the Tokyo Games, but he was injured in the middle of the 400m. Annoying, especially since Warner was in the lead after the first four events. Mayer did not fail to salute his rival. “In the decathlon, we are going through very difficult times, but we are all going through them together”said the native of Argenteuil after his success.