Wed, Aug 08, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Mayer blows European decathalon bid

FOUL LUCK:Just a safe third would have sufficed for France’s Kevin Mayer, but he again edged over the take-off board with an aggressive approach on his last attempt

Reuters, BERLIN

France’s Kevin Mayer competes in the European Championships men’s decathlon long jump event at Olympic Stadium in Berlin yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Frenchman Kevin Mayer, hot favorite to win the decathlon title at the European, yesterday blew his chances completely in the second of the 10 events when he fouled in all three of his long jump attempts.

The Olympic silver medalist was leading the competition to find Europe’s top all-round athlete after a run of 10.64 seconds in the 100m before he made the inexplicable error that effectively rules him out of medal contention.

Having fouled his first two jumps in the Olympic Stadium, just a safe third would have sufficed for the 26-year-old, but he again edged over the take-off board with an unnecessarily aggressive approach on his final attempt.

Mayer, who had sailed well beyond the leading mark with his last no-jump, put his hands on his head in despair after immediately realizing his error.


Daria Shmeleva and Kirsten Wild on Monday bolstered their reputations as two of cycling’s great sprinters as they added to their golden palmares at the European Championships track program.

Russian Shmeleva completed a remarkable sprint treble by flying to victory in the 500m time trial, adding the two-lap title to her individual and team sprint crowns.

The flying Dutchwoman Wild, already champion in the 10km scratch race on Friday, added the omnium title, demonstrating her sprint prowess in the four-discipline event throughout the day.

Twelve years might separate the pair in age, but the 23-year-old Shmeleva and the veteran Wild, with seven world titles between them, share a huge competitive drive and the ruthless streak to be quickest on the draw.

Shmeleva had enjoyed eyeballing opponents in the head-to-head duels at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, but this time, the only opposition was the clock as she regained the time trial title that she last won two years ago in Yvelines, France.

Last to ride, she clocked 33.285 seconds as the only woman to average over 54km per hour, beating the mark of 53.582 set by Ukraine’s Olena Starikova.

“I cannot say that I believe it,” Shmeleva said. “I was hoping to be completely satisfied with my results in this championships — and at the moment I am.”

Cutting a striking figure as she rode in odd socks, one bright green and one jet black, Shmeleva was asked to explain her attire.

“It is to show that I am a bit extraordinary,” she said smiling.

Wild has seen an extraordinary time in her trip to Britain, too, having followed up her win in the RideLondon Classique, the world’s most lucrative women’s professional road race, with her double gold.

Her strength lies in still being incredibly swift at the end of an endurance test and so it proved in the omnium’s concluding 20km points race.

Going head-to-head with Britain’s Katie Archibald, the Dutchwoman, who also won the omnium’s scratch race, dominated their intermediary sprints, winning three key ones.


Russian teenage swimmer Kliment Kolesnikov on Monday added a gold and a silver to his European medal haul in just over an hour’s span.

Kolesnikov dominated the men’s 100-meter backstroke for his third gold, and returned to the pool shortly afterward to help Russia take silver in the 4x100m medley relay.

It raised his total to four from as many events.

Kolesnikov, who turned 18 last month, is living up to his billing as one of the big prospects for Russian swimming at the Tokyo Olympics.

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