French decathlete Mayer edges closer to world record

Kévin Mayer is the reigning decathlon world champion. (AFP pic)

TALENCE: World champion Kévin Mayer remained well within range of a tilt at a new world record in the decathlon with just two disciplines left of the Décastar on Sunday.

The Frenchman cleared 5.45 metres in the pole vault to leave him on 7,503 points, 80 ahead of American Ashton Eaton when he set the current world record of 9,045 points.

“Now we can start talking about the world record,” Mayer said after the pole vault.

Mayer will now compete in the javelin and the 1500m in full knowledge that Eaton’s record is there for the taking should he produce anything close to his personal bests.

The 26-year-old missed out on adding the European title to his world crown and Olympic silver medal when he failed to register a mark in the long jump in Berlin last month.

But he put that disappointment well and truly behind him on the opening day on Saturday with personal bests of 7.80 metres in the long jump and 10.55 seconds in the 100m.

A shotput throw of 16 metres, then 2.05 metres on his third and last effort in the high jump, followed by a 400m time of 48.42 seconds, earned him a total of 4,563 points at the midway stage.

Mayer opened Sunday with 13.75 seconds in the 110m hurdles and threw a whopping 50.54 metres in the discus before excelling at the pole vault in front of a partisan crowd.