Three weeks after the end of the World Championships in Eugene in Oregon and only one after the Commonwealth Games, the European Athletics Championships begin this Monday in Munich, 20 years after the 2002 edition, still at the Stadium Olympic. After the meager American harvest (only one medal, that of Kevin Mayer in gold in the decathlon), will the French team be able to equal their record in Berlin in 2018, with 10 medals including 3 gold?
Arriving in large numbers in Bavaria, especially for the youngest to gain international experience two years before the Olympic Games in Paris, the Blues will bet mainly on a few executives and will also have good chances to play with the relays.
In men, the unexpected presence of Kevin Mayer in a second decathlon in less than a month is good news, obviously if he has recovered from his efforts in Oregon. The world record holder and two-time world champion has never been a European outdoor champion, and he offers himself a nice challenge.
We will also follow with interest gabriel tual more than 800 m. Sixth in the World Championship and first European, he has the means to go for a medal in Munich, where benjamin robertbest time of the participants, he wants to erase his disappointment with Eugene (eliminated in the semifinals).
Happio must confirm in 400m hurdles
The same hope of a podium for Jimmy Gressier more than 10,000 m, after his 11th place in the World Championship. The Boulonnais has the second fastest time for 2022 of the entrants. Obstacle course of more than 3000 m, mehdi belhadj He hopes that his 13th place in the World Cup (3rd European), will allow him to settle among the heavyweights of the continental middle distance.
Very outstanding a few weeks ago in the United States with his 4th place in the 400 m hurdles, two hundredths off the podium when his personal best exploded, increased to 47”41, Wilfried Happio must confirm its new dimension in Munich. In particular, she will face him (finally alongside) Karsten Warholm, too fair physically for Eugene (7th).
Wilfried Happio had missed very close to the world podium in Eugene. (F. Faugère/The Team)
Author of excellent times in La Chaux-de-Fonds (1,000m altitude) just before the World Championships, both in the 100m (9”99) and in the 200m (19”97), Meba-Mickaël Zeze It will normally be the best individual occasion in the French men’s sprint, which has suffered in recent seasons. Little in sight this summer, Jimmy Vicaut8th in the 100m, he will have to raise the bar to aspire to the podium.
A major provider of European medals, the 110m hurdles has a very interesting quartet in Munich (sasha zhoya, Just Kwaou-Mathey, Pascal Martinot-Lagarde Y Aurel Manga). The first in the city has the best time of the innings (13”17) tied with the Spanish Asier Martínez, and hopes that his body will finally leave him alone. Kwaou-Mathey came very close to the final in Eugene, while PML and Manga have a lot of experience in major championships.
If Mondo Duplantis has reigned alone on the perch planet for several seasons, Renaud Lavillenie he can absolutely consider winning a new European medal, thanks to his fifth-place finish at Worlds. In a discipline like hammer where almost all the best in the world are European, quentin fanatic4th in Eugene, he will be as usual among the contenders for the podium.
In 35 km of walking, aurelien quinion he had finished 14th (5th European at Eugene), which makes him an interesting outsider in Bavaria. The 4×100 m relay (disqualified in the Oregon final for going out of the zone) and 4×400 m (7th in the World Championship, 2nd European team) are quite capable of bringing two more medals to the French delegation.
Limited hopes in women
Among the women, it is no surprise to write that podium hopes will be more limited than among the men, especially after the withdrawal of Alice Finot (3,000m hurdles) due to injury. Long-awaited in Oregon, Renelle Lamotte Y Cyrena Samba Mayela experienced complicated worlds. The double European runner-up in the 800 m was eliminated in the semifinals, greatly reduced by Covid. He arrives in Munich with the 3rd time of the innings behind the British duo Hodgkinson-Reekie. As for the indoor world champion in the 60m hurdles, she will want to forget her elimination in the first round in Eugene over the 100m hurdles.
In the pole vault, where the European level has not reached peaks this season, ninon chapel (11th in the World Cup) and margot chevrier (4.70 m this summer, third among the entries) have the means to compete for the podium, while in the discus, Melina Robert Michon10th at Eugene, she will be considered more of an underdog given her recent performances.
Finally, the 4x400m led by amandine brossier It showed great things in the World Cup with its 5th place, which made it the second European formation. Therefore, a medal seems entirely possible for the relay group.
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