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French athlete Kévin Mayer sets decathlon world record

French athlete Kévin Mayer has become the first ever Frenchman to hold a world record for the decathlon, beating the previous record-holder, American athlete Ashton Eaton, this weekend.

Mr Mayer took the record with 9,126 points on Sunday September 16, during the 42nd Décastar event in the Pierre Paul Bernard stadium in Talence (Gironde, Nouvelle-Aquitaine).

This beat Mr Eaton’s previous record of 9,045 points, which the American had achieved in the 2015 world championships in Beijing, China.

This now makes Mr Mayer the decathlon world champion, and the first Frenchman ever to hold the world record for the event.

Mr Mayer took the record after completing the two-day event at the height of his ability, including completing the 1,500m run in four minutes and 35 seconds, and succeeding his best-ever javelin throw of 71.90 metres on his third throw.

Mr Eaton, the former world record holder, who has now retired from competing, congratulated Mr Mayer on his victory this weekend, writing on Twitter that his achievement was “an incredible display of ability”.

He added that it had always “been important to me to keep pushing the limit and inspiring others to do the same”.

In a later tweet, he said that despite being retired, he is still “looking to get involved [in the sport] and help improve things for athletes and the next generation”.

The victory comes after a chequered year for Mr Mayer, who dropped out of the European Championships in August - despite being the favourite for a gold medal - after committing three fouls in the long jump event.

The Décastar event was founded in 1976 by French athlete Guy Drut, and was registered with the IAAF Combined Event World Challenge in 1998, cementing its place in the athletic decathlon calendar.

Decathlon is a ten-part event, including runs of 100m-1,500m, long jump, high jump, shot put, hurdles, javelin throw, pole vault, and discus.

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