Three French people had an appointment at Hayward Field in Eugene, during the fourth evening session of the world athletics championships, on the night of Monday July 18 to Tuesday July 19. With a mixed tricolor record: a place in the final acquired with forceps on the disc for Mélina Robert-Michon, a 13th place in the final of the 3000 m steeplechase for Mehdi Belhadj and an early elimination in the 200 m for Mouhamadou Fall.
On the other hand, on the side of the multi-medal stars, the headliners did not tremble. Belgian Nafissatou Thiam won her second world title in the heptathlon, while Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas and Qatari Mutaz Barshim won their third world crown, respectively in the triple jump and high jump.
A final in extremis for Mélina Robert-Michon
The 43-year-old Frenchwoman scared herself by winning the twelfth and last ticket for the final of the disc competition scheduled for Thursday at 3:30 a.m. Paris time. With a throw of 61.21m, the discus thrower remains far from her personal best of 66.73m, set in Rio in 2016 to win the Olympic silver medal. If getting on the podium seems difficult, the Frenchwoman can glean a few places.
Learning continues for Mehdi Belhadj
First participation in the Worlds and first final for Mehdi Belhadj. The 27-year-old Frenchman finished in 13th place in the 3,000m steeplechase, won by Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali, already crowned in Tokyo. Well placed in a “slow” start to the race, the Frenchman paid for his impatience. By his own admission, the tricolor steeple “got a bit carried away too quickly” by accelerating too early, lacking freshness in the final package.
Mouhamadou Fall stumbles in the 200m series
The only tricolor sprinter engaged in Eugene failed to reach the 200m semi-finals. Mouhamadou Fall finished only fifth in his series in a time (20.83) not fast enough for him to be drafted. The Frenchman arrived at the starting line disturbed by the threat of a suspension. fight against doping accuses him of three breaches of his whereabouts obligations.
First medal for the Ukrainian delegation
As the war continues to shake their country, a delegation of 22 Ukrainian athletes made the trip to the United States. High jumper Andriy Protsenko brought the nation’s first blue-and-yellow flag medal. The Ukrainian clinched 3rd place in the contest behind Qatari Mutaz Barshim and Korean Sanghyeok Woo.
Originally from Kherson, in southern Ukraine, Andriy Protsenko was only able to leave his country, invaded in February by Russia, in April with his wife and two children. He then headed for Portugal, Spain and then France. He hopes to reach Poland by returning from the United States.
The Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas and Qatari Mutaz Barshim achieved the same feat by winning their third consecutive world crown, the first in the triple jump and the second in the height. The two have also already been crowned at the Tokyo Olympics.
With a jump of 15m47, Yulimar Rojas relegated her two pursuers, the Jamaican Shanieka Ricketts and the American Tori Franklin, to more than 50 centimeters.
After sharing his Olympic gold medal in Tokyo with the Italian Tamberi, Mutaz Barshim took his destiny into his own hands by achieving a faultless competition up to a bar of 2m37. “The treble has never been done before, it’s a very nice statistic. I want to achieve great things, I want to be the high jumper who makes history. I competed little but I worked a lot for eight months even if after Tokyo it was hard to find the motivation”, commented Mutaz Barshim. Gianmarco Tamberi finished, meanwhile, at the foot of the podium.