Kevin Mayer “wants to extend the joy” of the European Championships in Munich

After posting a message on his social networks on Sunday announcing his participation in the European Championships in Munich (August 15-21), Kevin Mayer, new decathlon world champion in Eugene (United States ), explained his choice via video conference on Monday.

“Kevin, why did you decide to line up for the European Championships?
Decathlon is a relatively tough sport that requires a lot of recovery. Before and during the Worlds, I did not see myself following the European Championships. But from the second day of recovery, my legs are fine even though I’m still tired from the decathlon. It’s rare that I get out of it so well physically, without any particular stress.

More than tired, I told myself that there won’t be many European Championships in the next years and I haven’t become a European champion (2nd in 2014). I am 30 years old, I want to have fun, this is a great opportunity. I know the height of the challenge because chaining two decathlons in three weeks at major Championships is rare. And doing double is incredible. But I want to extend the joy felt at the World Championships.

The last time you chained two decathlons in one season was in 2016 (Götzis then the Rio Olympics) but there was a 79-day gap between the two. There, we are talking about 21 full days of recovery between the end of the World and the European decathlon that starts on August 15 …
I have never done that. In general, it is difficult to succeed. Due to the level of Europe at the moment, we can say that it allows me some counter-performances without saying that I obviously have room, because the level of the Germans and the Estonians is very high. I had the chance to be European champion so I took it.

I’m very relaxed, I’m a world champion, I can’t imagine that I’ll do a second decathlon, but it’s also fun. It’s not all this pressure that I usually play with throughout my year in a Championship. There is above all the joy of being able to scratch the track again with the jersey of the French team. I don’t want to take this chance to have fun in Munich.

“When I feel pain, I don’t keep telling myself that I did everything for the European title”

Eventually you get hurt. You’re not taking any risks?
The injury, we fear it all the time when we do a decathlon. I came out of a decathlon unscathed and it really gave me confidence for Munich. Then, from a nervous point of view, from a physical point of view, it might not be the same juice as I’m used to in the Championship. But I’m more prepared from a technical and physical point of view than before the Worlds where I didn’t do any competition. I still have a lot of benchmarks so I approach it with equanimity.

Afterwards, I really ventured into the unknown, I didn’t know how my body would react. But I will not risk two years from Paris 2024. If I feel any pain, I will not continue to tell myself that I did everything for the European title. But when I started this story, it was because I had a confidence in my body. I know what I can or can’t do. We have to manage this decathlon, not give everything all the time to reach the end. It’s nice to go into that mindset of doing two decathlons in three weeks with possibly two gold medals at the end. This is something that excites me a lot.

What has been your schedule since your return from the United States and how will the next few days go until you leave Germany?
I came back on Tuesday (July 26) night at my house. I cut back until Friday where I did a big aerobic session to oxygenate the legs. A little early, I was tired all week. And there (Monday), I picked up points using small sprints. Feelings are good. In terms of training, it was almost nothing until Munich. As usual, I didn’t do much before the Championships, there was even less. You just need to rest because the decathlon I just did gave me the best settings to do the second one. »

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