Kevin Mayer took over the lead in the heptathlon after the 60m hurdles and a very good pole vault competition on Sunday at the Istanbul Indoor Athletics Euro.
Second Saturday evening after four events, Mayer (31) ran a convincing 60m hurdles in 7 sec 76 before jumping 5.30m in the pole vault, the best performances of the two events among all the competitors.
“I have a little heavy legs. Over the hurdles, I had a clean run, a very good time close to my record. I had a lot of pressure in the pole vault,” noted Mayer in the mixed zone.
After six events out of seven, he has 5,521 points, ie 101 points ahead of the Norwegian Sander Skotheim (5,420 points).
However, the title is not acquired before the 1,000 m in the afternoon, an event where his young competitor (20 years old) is a priori much faster.
“I haven’t done a single 1,000m session. The situation I didn’t want to find myself in, I find myself there. I’m going to get high. I know how to get my guts out when necessary. The seven hours of waiting is not going to be the most pleasant of my life”.
“Without prep, I think I can go for 2:44,” Mayer added. Enough to force Skotheim to run 2 min 35 to beat him, a time within the ropes of the Norwegian, a little faster than his record established at the beginning of February.
The Frenchman, double world champion, double Olympic vice-champion and world record holder in the decathlon, is hunting in Istanbul for a third European indoor title in the heptathlon after 2017 and 2021.
Another committed tricolor, Makenson Gletty experienced the disappointment of not scoring any points in the pole vault, and abandoned the competition.