Kevin Mayer isn’t usually one of the speediest decathletes, but his 10.70 clocking in the opening event of the decathlon was the fourth best of the entire field.
Judging by how sharp the French all-rounder looked, Mayer is clearly in form to improve on his second-place finish from last year’s Olympics. His 10.70 run took 0.11 off the PB he set en route to taking the silver medal in Rio last year.
As expected for a man who holds the world decathlon best, Damian Warner posted the fastest time of the day, but the Canadian was probably hoping to go a bit quicker than his 10.50.
World leader Rico Freimuth of Germany clocked a season’s best of 10.53 to finish a close second to Warner. Compatriot Kai Kazmirek, also a strong medal contender here, ran a season’s best of 10.91 in an earlier heat to finish behind Mayer.
Estonia’s Karl Robert Saluri was third behind Warner and Freimuth, running 10.55, while USA’s two-time world champion Trey Hardee was fourth in that heat and fifth overall with his 10.75.
Cuba’s two-time Olympic bronze medallist Leonel Suarez, drawn in the second heat, pulled up after the first 10 metres and jogged to the line, clearly not in any form to complete the rest of the decathlon.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF