Kevin Mayer: It’s over after 70 meters – Sport


That was a brief appearance by decathlete Kevin Mayer. Becoming world champion in Eugene three weeks ago, the Frenchman is one of the prominent figures at these European Championships. Despite a world record score of 9126 points, Mayer has never become European champion. This medal will also go to someone else in Munich.

It happened in the 100m sprint. After 70 meters, the favorite grabbed his back thigh and could only tumble to the finish. The time board still showed 11.67 seconds, but his wave to the crowd made it clear: That’s it. “See you next year,” is the final message from the Frenchman.

Four years ago, Mayer retired from the decathlon with only invalid attempts in the long jump. At that time, the German Arthur Abele became European champion. For the now 36-year-old Abele, the decathlon in Munich will be his last: “I go with mixed feelings. Decathlon has shaped me for an incredibly long time and will always be part of my life,” he said. His goal in Munich is the top eight.

A few weeks later, after the botched European Championships in Berlin, Kevin Mayer achieved something that few had believed in. He broke the world record held by American Ashton Eaton. Mayer’s weakness had previously been the throwing disciplines, but there was no sign of that at the competition in September 2018 in Talence, France: “He performed everywhere. And not just a little bit, but always incredibly,” said Arthur Abele , who finished second in Talence.

Mayer usually only starts at selected competitions. Because the World Cup in Eugene was only three weeks ago, his start in Munich came as a surprise. “If I’m not in pain, I’ll see the decathlon through to the end. But if there’s any pain and there’s a risk that it could cost me something in the future, then it won’t be worth it,” he previously announced to Mayer : No risk. The two-time silver medalist finally wants to win gold at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Mayer had already said on Saturday that he did not feel well: “I have the feeling that my body has not recovered.” With the grip on the adductor while sprinting, his assumption has come true. Mayer told French TV station France Télévisions that he had been feeling this pain for three months.

Now the Swiss Simon Ehammer is considered the favourite, the 22-year-old won bronze in Eugene and has also shown his performance in Munich with 8.31 meters in the long jump. But the 2019 World Champion, Niklas Kaul, also keeps his chances of a medal with a best performance over 100 meters. Among the “kings of athletics” Kevin Mayer is the emperor, but for now the most complete athlete remains without a complete collection of medals.



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