PARIS — On a spectacular day in track and field, Kevin Mayer of France set a decathlon world record in front of a home crowd, hours after Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya smashed the marathon world record in Berlin.

Mayer, the world champion competing at the Decastar event in Talence in southwestern France, finished with a total of 9,126 points, improving on the previous record of 9,045 set by Ashton Eaton of the United States at the 2015 world championships in Beijing.

Earlier, Kipchoge clocked 2 hours, 1 minute, 39 seconds at the Berlin Marathon.

Kipchoge, 33, overturned the previous world record set in Berlin by a fellow Kenyan, Dennis Kimetto, in 2014 by 1 minute, 18 seconds.

“I lack words to describe this day,” Kipchoge said after becoming the first person to finish a marathon in less than 2 hours and 2 minutes.

“They say you miss two times but you can’t miss the third time,” he said in reference to his two previous failed attempts to break the world record in Berlin.


In the decathlon, Mayer fell on his back in celebration after crossing the line in the 1,500 meters – the last of 10 events – in 4 minutes, 36.11 seconds, a time he knew would guarantee him the record.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” said Mayer, who became the first Frenchman to hold the decathlon world record. “We live for moments like this that are simply incredible. I couldn’t cry. I don’t have any more tears left because I was crying so much before the 1,500 meters.”

Mayer came to Talence on the back of a disappointing showing at last month’s European Championships, where he was eliminated after three fouls in the long jump. He made a strong start, setting a personal best in the 100 and long jump, but Mayer was 140 points behind Eaton’s record after the first day.

He was even more consistent Sunday with 13.75 seconds in the 110 hurdles and a 165 feet 10 inch throw in the discus. Mayer cleared 17-10 1/2 in the pole vault and reached 235 feet, 10 1/2 inches in the javelin.

The Decastar has been a major fixture of the season-end for years. Back in 1992, just after he missed out on the Barcelona Olympics, Dan O’Brien of the United States set a world record of 8,891 in Talence.

Eaton congratulated Mayer for his performance in a message posted on Twitter.

“That was an incredible display of ability!” he wrote. “Important thing to me has always been to keep pushing the limit and inspiring others to do the same. The more 9K can become commonplace the better.”

In Berlin, Kipchoge successfully defended his 2017 title, pulling ahead of other runners early amid perfect conditions. Mild temperatures and little to no wind in the German capital gave runners in the 45th edition an advantage over last year, when rain slowed the race.

A total of 44,389 runners from 133 countries took part in the race, organizers said.

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