Torun 2021 Countdown: Kevin Mayer
Each day in the run up to the 2021 European Indoor Championships in Toruń, Decathlonpedia will feature some of the athletes competing in the heptathlon. Today, the world indoor champion and world decathlon record-holder, Kevin Mayer.
Where to even begin? Let’s start at the beginning. A quick scan of World Athletics statistics indicates that Kevin has started 7 heptathlons, all of them prior to his decathlon world record in 2018.
In his first U20 heptathlon, aged 18 in 2010, he scored 5668. A year later he extended his U20 mark to 5872 in January 2011, which remains the French U20 record (although still well short of Jente Hauttekeete’s recent WU20 record).
A few weeks later, Kevin DNF his first senior heptathlon.
Two years later in 2013, aged 21, he scored 5983 in his 3rd completed heptathlon. Good, approaching 6000 points, but still no sign of what was to come. Two weeks later at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg, the 21-year-old Kevin Mayer scored a massive PB of 6297 to take silver behind Eelco Sintnicolaas.
In Belgrade in 2017, he returned to the European Indoors and won gold with 6479. A French record, a European record, and the second best athlete of all time behind Ashton Eaton’s 6645 WR.
In Birmingham 2018 Kevin competed in his first World Indoors and won – with only a 5m pole vault – beating Damian Warner by only 5 points, scoring 6348.
Seven heptathlons. Three under 6000. Three medals. One DNF. One very close run with a Canadian.
A lot – to put it mildly - has happened since Kevin left the snow and frozen canals at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham in March 2018. In recent weeks he’s hurdled 7.68 and vaulted 5.30 off ten steps. And there are no Canadians in Toruń. But there will be 11 other guys who can all go over 6000, and who will be waiting to pounce if the Frenchman gives them any opportunity.
Original photo: Michel Fisquet