Kevin Mayer (French: [kevin majɛʁ], [mejɛʁ] or [majœr], born 10 February 1992) is a French athlete specializing in combined events. A native of Drôme in southeast France, Mayer excelled in combined events from a young age; highlights from his youth career include winning gold medals in the octathlon at the 2009 World Youth Championships and in the decathlon at the 2010 World Junior Championships and at the 2011 European Athletics Junior Championships, establishing a new national junior record at the latter.
After a steady evolution in the following years, he won his first senior medals in back-to-back European Championships, winning silver in both the heptathlon at the 2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Gothenburg (behind Eelco Sintnicolaas) and the decathlon at the 2014 European Athletics Championships in Zürich (behind Andrei Krauchanka), setting personal best scores in both.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Mayer won his first Olympic medal, a silver, with a personal best of 8,834 points, only 59 points behind Ashton Eaton's Olympic record. This performance is currently the sixth-best personal record in the men's decathlon (behind Eaton, Roman Šebrle, Tomáš Dvořák, Dan O'Brien, and Daley Thompson) and fourth-best by a European decathlete (behind Šebrle, Dvořák, and Thompson).
In 2017, he became the new European record holder in the heptathlon, recording 6,479 points at the 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade to take the gold, his first title in a senior European competition. this score is the second-best personal record in men's heptathlon (behind Eaton's world record of 6,645). Mayer's level of form carried into the outdoor decathlon season, where he won gold at the World Outdoor Championships in London with a world leading score of 5,768 points, becoming world champion for the first time and earning his (and France's) first senior global gold medal in the decathlon.
He won a silver medal in the heptathlon at the 2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships with a new personal best of 6297 points. At the 2013 European Cup Combined Events he topped the podium and set personal bests in the 100 metres (11.04 sec), long jump (7.63 m), shot put (14.95 m) and the discus throw (44.89 m).
On March 6, 2016, Mayer announced his withdrawal from the 2016 World Indoor Championships because of a heel injury sustained during the hurdles race at the French Indoor Athletics Championships held at the end of February in Aubière.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Mayer earned a silver medal with a new personal best of 8834 points, finish behind only two-time gold medallist and world record holder Ashton Eaton. Highlights of his campaign include equalling or improving personal outdoor bests in four events (100 m, shot put, 400 m, pole vault) and performing seasonal bests in three others (long jump, high jump, 1500 m); he was also the best decathlete in two disciplines (the shot put, with 15.76 m and 836 points; and the pole vault, with 5.40 m and 1035 points, sharing first place with Thomas van der Plaetsen) and lead the standings at the end of the first day of the competition (i.e. after 5 out of 10 events). Furthermore, this performance ranks as the sixth-best personal best score in the men's decathlon, and showed a marked improvement in form for Mayer, bettering his former personal best of 8,521 points (set during the aforementioned silver medal run at the 2014 European Athletics Championships) by 313 points and the French national record by 260 points.
In the run up to the 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships, Mayer's first combined events competition of the year was an indoor track and field triathlon (60m hurdles, shot put, long jump) at the National Indoor Meeting of Paris on February 8. Mayer didn't receive a score in the 60m hurdles, but finished first in the other two events against the other two remaining participants, Bastien Auzeil and Gaël Querin. Nevertheless, he finished last (out of three), with 1,652 points. His first heptathlon was at the French Elite Indoor Championships in Bordeaux (organized by the French Athletics Federation) on February 18–19. While Mayer didn't get marks in the long jump, but finished in first place in the other five events in participated in. He decided not to participate in the final 1,000 metres and therefore finished the heptathlon without a score.
At the 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade on March 4–5, his first international competition of the year, Mayer won the gold medal in the men's heptathlon with a new European record (6,479 points), beating Jorge Ureña (silver, 6,227 points) and Adam Helcelet (bronze, 6,110 points). He achieved three indoor personal bests (in the long jump, 60m hurdles, and the pole vault) and finished third or best in six out of seven events (except the 1000m, where he finished fourth) and established personal indoor records in five (all but the shot put and the 1000m). This score is also the second-best personal record score for a men's indoor heptathlon (behind Ashton Eaton's world record of 6,645 points); Mayer beat the previous European indoor record, set by Roman Šebrle at the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest, by 41 points.
On April 15, he had his first outdoor competition at a triathlon (200m, high jump, discus throw) in L'Étang-Salé, Réunion. Mayer won all three events, finishing in first place with 2,642 points. Back in Europe, Mayer took part in his first decathlon of the year in his adopted hometown of Montpellier on May 13–14. Despite not scoring a valid mark in two events in the first day, the long jump and the high jump, Mayer achieved a season best mark in the discus and the shot put. Afterwards, Mayer attended events in Valence and Paris over the next month and a half to prepare some disciplines for the summer season. He then took part in his last competition before the World Championships, the French Elite Outdoor Championships in Marseille, whose men's decathlon competition took place on July 14–15. Mayer struggled with the rainy and windy conditions and the conditions of the track, eventually not finishing the competition after a few no marks.
At the 2017 World Championships in Athletics in London, Mayer completed his first decathlon of the year and won his first World Championships gold medal with a world-leading score of 8,768 points, ahead of Germans Rico Freimuth (silver, 8,564 points) and Kai Kazmirek (bronze, 8,488 points); this was also France's first international gold medal in the decathlon. Despite not coming first in any specific discipline, Mayer achieved new personal bests in the 100 metres (10.70s, 929 points), 400 metres (48.28s, 897 points), and the 110 metres hurdles (13.75, 1007 points). A setback in the pole vault – where he cleared his only mark at 5.10m only at the third and last try – 30 cm below his personal record – prevented him from breaking his personal record.
Mayer was born on February 10, 1992 in Argenteuil, a city and commune in the northwest suburbs of Paris, to André and Carole Mayer. His paternal family and German surname have their origin in the northeastern region of Lorraine,[a] where his father grew up; some of his relatives still live in the Moselle department next to the border with Germany. He has three brothers: Thibault, Thomas and Sébastien; the family was raised in La Roche-de-Glun, a small town by the Rhône river in the southeast of the country (Drôme department), where his parents still live.
Mayer started practicing athletics at the sports association EA Tain-Tournon close to his hometown; after the club's merger with two other Drôme-based athletics associations in 2013, Mayer continued representing it through the new institution, EA Rhône Vercors 26-07. He trains at the CREPS Montpellier, a training center for high-performance athletes, since 2008; ever since moving to Montpellier, he has been coached by Bertrand Valcin. He studied for a fr:Diplôme universitaire de technologie en mesures physiques (a technological degree in physical measurements, including metrology and instrumentation) at the University of Montpellier-Sète.
|2009||World Youth Championships||Brixen, Italy||1st||Octathlon||6478 pts|
|2010||World Junior Championships||Moncton, Canada||1st||Decathlon||7928 pts|
|2011||European Junior Championships||Tallinn, Estonia||1st||Decathlon||8124 pts|
|2012||Olympic Games||London, United Kingdom||15th||Decathlon||7952 pts|
|2013||European Indoor Championships||Gothenburg, Sweden||2nd||Heptathlon||6297 pts|
|World Championships||Moscow, Russia||4th||Decathlon||8446 pts|
|2014||European Championships||Zürich, Switzerland||2nd||Decathlon||8521 pts|
|2016||Olympic Games||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||2nd||Decathlon||8834 pts|
|2017||European Indoor Championships||Belgrade, Serbia||1st||Heptathlon||6479 pts|
|World Championships||London, United Kingdom||1st||Decathlon||8768 pts|
|2012||Côte d'Azur Combined Events Regional Championships||Cannes-La Bocca, France||1st||8091|
|Brussels Meeting||Brussels, Belgium||1st||8447|
|2013||European Cup Combined Events - Super League||Tallinn, Estonia||1st||8390|
|World Championships||Moscow, Russia||4th||8446|
|European Championships||Zürich, Switzerland||2nd||8521|
|2015||Arona Combined Events Meeting||Arona, Spain||1st||8469 (MR)|
|Olympic Games||Example||2nd||8834 (NR)|
|2017||World Championships||London, United Kingdom||1st||8768|
|2013||French Indoor Championships||Aubière, France||2nd||5983|
|European Indoor Championships||Gothenburg, Sweden||2nd||6297|
|2017||European Indoor Championships||Belgrade, Serbia||1st||6479 (AR)|
|Event||Performance||Location||Date||Virtual best performance|
|Decathlon||8,834 points||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||August 18, 2016||9,159 points|
|100 metres||10.70||London, United Kingdom||August 11, 2017||929 points|
|Long jump||7.65 m (25 ft 1 in)||Zürich, Switzerland||August 12, 2014||972 points|
|Shot put||15.76 m (51 ft 8 1⁄4 in)||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||August 17, 2016||836 points|
|High jump||2.09 m (6 ft 10 1⁄4 in)||Brussels, Belgium||June 30, 2012||887 points|
|400 metres||48.26||London, United Kingdom||August 11, 2017||897 points|
|110 metres hurdles||13.75||London, United Kingdom||August 12, 2017||1,007 points|
|Discus throw||50.13 m (164 ft 5 1⁄2 in)||Valence, France||May 21, 2017||873 points|
|Pole vault||5.40 m (17 ft 8 1⁄2 in)||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||August 18, 2016||1,035 points|
|Javelin throw||70.54 m (231 ft 5 in)||Paris, France||July 1, 2017||898 points|
|1500 metres||4:18.04||Brussels, Belgium||July 1, 2012||825 points|
|Event||Performance||Location||Date||Virtual best performance|
|Heptathlon||6,479 points[b]||Belgrade, Serbia||March 5, 2017||6,532 points|
|60 metres||6.95||Belgrade, Serbia / Aubière, France||March 4, 2017 / February 27, 2016||900 points|
|Long jump||7.54 m (24 ft 8 3⁄4 in)||Belgrade, Serbia||March 4, 2017||945 points|
|Shot put||15.97 m (52 ft 4 1⁄2 in)||Aubière, France||February 27, 2016||849 points|
|High jump||2.10 m (6 ft 10 1⁄2 in)||Belgrade, Serbia / Aubière, France||March 4, 2017 / February 13, 2010||887 points|
|60 metres hurdles||7.88||Belgrade, Serbia||March 5, 2017||1,012 points|
|Pole vault||5.40 m (17 ft 8 1⁄2 in)||Belgrade, Serbia||March 5, 2017||1,035 points|
|1000 metres||2:37.30||Gothenburg, Sweden||March 3, 2013||904 points|
|Men's heptathlon European record holder
5 March 2017 –