Kevin Mayer appeared frustrated after four events in the heptathlon, as Italian sprint star Marcell Jacobs was beaten in the 60m by his teammate Samuele Ceccarelli, a huge surprise at the Istanbul Indoor Athletics Euro on Saturday.
Not weary, Kevin Mayer showed up in the mixed zone, chewing on a stick of dried beef, disillusioned by his evening performance at the height (1.98 m).
He, the “Kéké la braise” who likes to feed on the atmosphere of the major championships, double world champion and double Olympic vice-champion in the decathlon, lost his energy as the day went on, after one of those unpleasant nights spent tossing and turning in bed without closing an eye.
“My impulses were not pleasant, he commented. I still did the + taf +, I almost did not go to 1.98 m. As soon as the high jumps arrived, I was a bit lost. I’m a bit disgusted because yesterday I was in a huge shape. I tore my hair out last night not sleeping. I’m far from what I hoped to do but there is still a title to go for, so I’m doing the + work +. Let’s hope that a good night will make sure that tomorrow is a little better.”
After four events out of seven, Mayer is second with 3,474 points, 67 points behind the young Norwegian Sander Skotheim (3,541).
The 2018 world champion and double European heptathlon champion still has plenty of means to win if he succeeds on his second day on Sunday (60m hurdles, pole, 1,000m).
Another Frenchman involved in the combined events, Makenson Gletty is provisional 5th, on the lookout for a possible podium.
– Jacobs touched –
The thunderclap of the evening came from the men’s 60m. Lying on the track with his arms on his head after the finish, his right leg with a bandage, Marcell Jacobs, hit in a hamstring, was dominated to everyone’s surprise by his compatriot Samuele Ceccarelli.
Ceccarelli, 23, almost unknown until then, won gold in 6 sec 48 ahead of Jacobs (6.50) and Swede Henrik Larsson (6.53).
The young Italian stood out two weeks ago by becoming champion of his country, already faster than the star Marcell Jacobs. He had never run faster than 6 sec 72 in an indoor 60m and 10 sec 45 in a 100m before this winter, good national level times at best.
“It’s crazy, I didn’t expect it. It’s been three years since I had the opportunity to do a full season without injury. I didn’t know what to expect from this indoor season”, he reacted.
“It’s not the medal I was hoping for, commented Jacobs. My legs were not perfect, it was a difficult day. My teammate was excellent. I will try to recover as quickly as possible from this injury to the hamstring to find the track.”
– “Stupid” –
Highly anticipated in the 400m, the Dutch Femke Bol and the Norwegian Karsten Warholm have fulfilled their contract.
Starting at an insane pace (20 sec 84 after 200 m), Warholm cracked at the end of the race but resisted his opponents.
“I was too fast, it was stupid! He reacted. I was hit by lactic acid in the last 100m, I felt like I was facing a wall. I just tried to save my ass, so I’m very happy to come out with a gold medal.”
Much stronger than the competition, Bol, world record holder for the distance since February, mastered her race to cross the line in 49 sec 85, the 7th fastest time of all time.
The only Frenchwoman present in a final on Saturday, pole vaulter Margot Chevrier took 5th place, with a jump of 4.60 m. The French balance sheet therefore remains glued to a medal, the bronze of Azeddine Habz in the 1,500 m on Friday, before the fourth and last day of competition on Sunday.