Mayer decathlon title bid ends in tears

France's Kevin Mayer reacts during the Men's Pole Vault Decathlon heats at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships at the Khalifa International stadium in Doha. (AFP Photo)

Kevin Mayer's bid to retain his world decathlon crown ended in tears on Thursday after the injured Frenchman limped out of the competition in the pole vault.

Mayer, who had only just taken the lead in the overall standings after the discus, saw his title defence go up in flames after failing to register a vault.

The 2017 champion twice aborted jumps on his approach, slumping to the mattress in tears after his second failed effort.

Mayer had been limping noticeably after the opening discipline of the night, the men's 110m hurdles, with a heavily strapped left ankle.

However, he stormed back to register a strong performance in the discus, topping the round with his second throw of 48.34m.

That saw him take the overall lead with 6,310 points, leading Damian Warner of Canada who could only manage a best throw of 42.19m to be on 6,254pts with the pole vault, javelin and 1,500m remaining.

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