He might not want to peak for a few more weeks just yet but Kevin Mayer demonstrated in Paris on Wednesday (7) night just how well he is preparing for another tilt at winning a world gold medal.
In front of his own fans in the French capital, Mayer broke his 60m hurdles personal best for the second time in less than a fortnight on his way to winning a special triathlon at the Meeting de Paris Indoor, a European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting.
One step closer to Birmingham and next month’s IAAF World Indoor Championships for a multi-eventer who has dealt brilliantly with the pressure and extra spotlight since becoming world decathlon champion in London last summer.
Another gold awaits next month - and perhaps another European record as well. Mayer scored 2814 points for a thumping victory over Spain’s Jorge Urena (2551) and fellow Frenchman Jeremy Lelievre (2462).
Très beau meeting à Bercy ce soir... Merci à tous de vous être déplacé malgré la neige!
Sacré triathlon : 15m96 au poids, 7m48 en longueur et 7s79 aux haies pic.twitter.com/F0NLmA3mIM
— KevinMAYER Décathlon (@mayer_decathlon) February 7, 2018
His started his evening’s work with 15.96m in the shot put - just one centimetre off his lifetime best - in the second round before winning the long with 7.48m on the last of his three attempts with Urena second with 7.38m.
But his finale was the best of them all. Mayer settled into his blocks having already broken his personal best with his 7.83 in Val de Reuil last month but this time, he cracked the 7.80-barrier, winning in 7.79 from Urena in 8.11 and France’s Bastien Auzeil in 8.20.
Not only did Mayer win the European indoor heptathlon title last March, he also broke Roman Sebrle’s long-standing continental mark with 6479 points to move to second on the world all-time lists behind Ashton Eaton. His shot put and 60m hurdles last night were both in excess of the performances he produced en route to that total in Belgrade.
Stefanidi’s win streak continues
From one world champion to another, Greek pole vault star Ekaterini Stefanidi cleared a season’s best of 4.81m in the pole vault ahead of teammate Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou (4.61m) and Ukraine’s Maryna Kylypko (4.46m).
Stefanidi, who won bronze at the last edition of the World Indoor Championships in Portland 2016, has since won four major championships in succession and will be the firm favourite to complete the set of major titles at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
Here she entered the competition at 4.61m which - as with 4.71m - she cleared first time before a failure on her first attempt at 4.81m. Stefanidi cleared this height on his second attempt before three tries at a would-be world-leading and equal lifetime best of 4.91m.
Stefanidi's next competition will be the at the Perche Elite Tour in Rouen on 10 February.
As the Ivory Coast’s Gue-Arthur Cisse won the men’s 60m final in 6.61, Great Britain’s European U23 100m champion Ojie Edoburun was second in 6.63 with Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre third in 6.66. After winning his heat in 6.64, Jimmy Vicaut did not run in the final due to a right adductor injury and will almost certainly miss the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
#MeetingParis (60m hommes)
Énorme déception pour @lemaitreathle !
Malgré l'absence de Vicaut, le Français se classe 3e (6''66) et c'est l'Ivoirien de l'EFS Reims Gué-Arthur Cissé en 6''61 qui remporte la course pic.twitter.com/bcF4GNkE9s
— SFR Sport (@SFR_Sport) February 7, 2018
Ukrainian Hanna Plotitsyna got the nod in the women’s 60m hurdles ahead of Hungary’s Luca Kozak, both of whom were timed of 8.16.
Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji (7.15) and Great Britain’s European 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith (7.20) were third and fourth respectively in the women’s 60m which was won by double world silver medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou from the Ivory Coast in 7.12.