After posting a message on his social networks on Sunday announcing his participation in the European Championships in Munich (August 15-21), Kevin Mayer, recently decathlon world champion in Eugene (United States), explained this Monday by videoconference your choice.
“Kevin, why did you decide to line up for the European Championships?
The decathlon is a fairly difficult sport that requires a lot of recovery. Before and during the World Cup, I didn’t see myself following the Euro Cup at all. But it turns out that since the second day of recovery, my legs feel pretty good even though I’m still tired from the decathlon. It is rare that it comes out so well physically, without any particular tension.
Beyond the fatigue, I told myself that there are not many European Championships in the coming years and I have never been European champion (2nd in 2014). I am 30 years old, I want to have fun, it is a great opportunity. I know the height of the challenge because stringing together two decathlons in three weeks at major championships is rare. And doing twice as much would be amazing. But I want to prolong the pleasure you feel at the World Championships.
The last time he chained two decathlons in one season was in 2016 (Götzis then the Rio Olympics) but there was a 79-day difference between the two. There, we are talking about 21 full days of recovery between the end of the World Championships and the European decathlon that starts on August 15…
I’ve never done that. In general, it is difficult to be successful. Given the level that exists in Europe at the moment, we will say that it allows me some counter-performances without saying that obviously I have space, because the level with the Germans and the Estonians is very high. I have my chance to be European champion, so I take it.
I’m very relaxed, I’m world champion, I don’t imagine I’m going to do a second decathlon, but that’s also the fun part. There is not all this pressure that I usually have playing all my year in a Championship. Above all, there is the pleasure of being able to scratch the court again with the shirt of the French team. I don’t want to miss this opportunity to go have fun in Munich.
“If I feel pain, I will not keep telling myself that I am doing everything for the European title”
You’ve been hurt a lot lately. Aren’t you taking a risk?
Injury, we fear it all the time as soon as we do a decathlon. I was able to come out of a decathlon without getting injured and that really gives me confidence for Munich. Then, from a nervous point of view, from a physical point of view, it may not be the same juice that I usually have in the Championship. But I am much more prepared from a technical and physical point of view than before the World Cups where I had not done any competition. I have many more points of reference, so I face it with serenity.
Afterwards, I am definitely venturing into the unknown, I don’t know how my body will react. But I am not going to risk two years from Paris 2024. If I feel any pain, I will not keep telling myself that I do everything for the European title. But if I embarked on this story it is because I have a certain confidence in my body. I know what I can or cannot do. We will have to manage during this decathlon, not give everything all the time to reach the end. It’s nice to have that mindset of doing two decathlons in three weeks with potentially two gold medals at the end. This is something that excites me a lot.
What has been your program since your return from the United States and how will the next few days unfold until your departure for Germany?
I came back on Tuesday (July 26) late at my house. I cut until Friday where I did a great aerobics session to oxygenate my legs. It was a little early, I was tired all weekend. And the (Monday), I lifted the tips with small sprints. The feelings were good. Training-wise, it’s really going to be practically nothing until Munich. As usual, I don’t do much before the Championships, there it will be even less. You just have to rest because the decathlon I just did has given me the best settings to do a second. »
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