Kevin Mayer ended the first day of the decathlon exactly where he intends to be at the conclusion of the competition: at the top.
The French all-rounder carried a 109-point lead into the 400m. It had been hacked to 57 points by the end of the fourth heat, but he still sits on top of the leader board with 4478 after running a PB of 48.46, 0.02 quicker than his time from last year’s Olympics.
Germany’s Kai Kazmirek produced the quickest time of the day, clocking a season’s best of 47.19 to close in on Mayer’s lead. Compatriot Rico Freimuth had shared second place with Kazmirek before the 400m, but dropped to third overall after clocking 48.41.
Despite falling ill in the days leading up to the decathlon, Canada’s Olympic bronze medallist Damian Warner hasn’t given hopes of a medal. He performed to par in the 400m, running a season’s best of 47.47 to climb two places to fourth overall.
Two-time world champion Trey Hardee has maintained a top-six position throughout all five events on the first day. He ended his Friday campaign with a 48.78 over one lap of the track.
Ilya Shkurenev also remains in medal contention. The neutral athlete is currently in ninth place overall after running 49.02 in the 400m, but is strong in several of tomorrow’s events and can be expected to move up the leader board.
Grenadian brothers Kurt Felix and Lindon Victor, who clocked 49.09 and 49.30 respectively in the 400m, both look set for a top-eight finish tomorrow, but factoring in each of their strengths in tomorrow’s events, it’s difficult to predict which one will beat the other.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF