Decathlon gold medallist Mayer receives presidential blessing after moment of truth
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Kevin Mayer’s first world title in the decathlon received the presidential seal of approval with a Tweet from Emmanuel Macron hailing the 25-year-old’s achievement. Macron also congratulated Pierre-Ambroise Bosse, who on Tuesday won the men’s 800m. "Well done to our two wonderful world champions,” said Macron.
Mayer, who won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics, is the first European since Roman Sebrle in 2007 to win the competition to reveal the best all round athlete.
But the London success wasn't all plain sailing. Mayer faced disaster in the eighth discipline of the pole vault. He needed three attempts to clear the bar which had been set at 5.10m.
“That point was the key to the entire competition," Mayer realled. "It was incredible. If I had failed to go over, I wouldn't have got any points. The competition would have been finished. But I went over and I went on to become world champion but that was the moment of truth.”
Last ditch success in the pole vault left him on 7,237 points, ahead of the German Freimuth on 7,121 and another German, Kai Kazmirek who had 7,021 points with just the javelin and 1500m remaining.
From peering into the abyss, Mayer soared. He threw a personal best of 66.10 in the javelin before clocking 4:36.73 in the 1500m. After two days of gruelling competition, he had amassed 8,768 points from the 10 disciplines.
Freimuth took silver with 8,564 points and Kazmirek, claimed bronze with 8,488 points.
"I am so, so tired," Mayer told the 60,000 spectators at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium on Saturday night as they applauded his achievements. "I just wanted to say you are the most amazing public in the world and I thank you for that."
During their lap of honour, Mayer then rounded up his fellow decathletes for probably one of the pictures of the championships. “They asked me how I wanted to celebrate," he beamed. "And so I said: ‘All take off your T-shirts. We are going to make a great photo.’”
The champion was spot on. A triumph of toned torsos emerged for the photographers to the cheers of the crowd.
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