(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.
World champion and Olympic silver medalist Mayer surpassed American Ashton Eaton’s 9,045 total at the 2015 world championships in Beijing.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” said Mayer after becoming the first Frenchman to hold the decathlon world record.
“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 1,500m.”
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.
He threw a personal best of 71.90 meters in the javelin, Sunday’s penultimate event, then finished the decisive 1,500 meters 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 email 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, this year’s world indoor champion in the heptathlon, signaled 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.
“It was tough to get going this morning,” said Mayer. “The race seemed longer than usual. And a German (European champion Arthur Abele), on my right-hand side, was catching up with me. I gave it everything.”
Mayer then threw 50.54m in the discus and cleared 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 (1000m) eclipsed global records at the 2016 Stockholm indoor grand prix.
(Reporting by Pete Hall and Gene Cherry,; Editing by Toby Davis and Ed Osmond)