One of this year’s best European athletes, Kevin Mayer of France, will be a title contender in the decathlon at the 2014 European Athletics Championships in Zurich 12-17 August.
Mayer, 21, stunned most specialists with his talent as he produced mature performances throughout the year.
He took silver in the heptathlon at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Gothenburg behind Eelco Sintnicolaas of the Netherlands, the start of what could be an exciting rivalry between the two.
Mayer was simply too strong at the European Cup Combined Events Super League in Tallinn in June when he triumphed comfortably with a great 8390 score and led France to team gold.
The primary focus of his season was the IAAF World Championships in Moscow. After a sub-par first day, Mayer was only 15th, but known for being a strong second day competitor he still had a chance to recuperate.
And so he did. Mayer excelled over the second day of events blasting his personal best performance in the javelin with a 66.02m throw, which put him right back into medal contention.
Eventually it came down to the 1500m, Mayer started strong but as the race progressed he ran out of steam and the gap was too steep for him to recover. He finished fourth with a personal best of 8446 points.
“I was disappointed to not finish on the podium; I didn’t manage to optimise my decathlon as well as I did in Tallinn,” he told the French athletics federation.
“However I do feel as though I’ve progressed enormously this year, and I was able to step-up in major championships, so it will be useful moving forward,” he continued.
The young Frenchman has decided to skip next year’s indoor season and focus his attention on the European Athletics Championships in Zurich.
“I want to be fresh mentally and physically in Zurich where I hope to earn my first outdoor medal as a senior.”
In Zurich, he will face tough competition from Michael Schrader of Germany who finished second in Moscow and the inevitable Sintnicolaas who was just behind him in fifth place.
Mayer will try to erase his memories of the previous European championships where he was disqualified in the long jump after fouling out three times.
“I try to pretend like that competition never took place, but I won’t make the same mistake again,” he concluded.