08 JUN 2011 General News

Tamgho and Lavillenie notch world leads in Montreuil, Blake edges Lemaitre in fast 100m

Yohan Blake (r) takes a narrow 100m victory in Montreuil in 9.95, edging Christophe Lemaitre (c) who clocked 9.96 and Daniel Bailey (l), 10.00 (Jiro Mochizuki)Yohan Blake (r) takes a narrow 100m victory in Montreuil in 9.95, edging Christophe Lemaitre (c) who clocked 9.96 and Daniel Bailey (l), 10.00 (Jiro Mochizuki) © Copyright

Montreuil, FranceWorld Leading marks by Teddy Tamgho in the Triple Jump and by Renaud Lavillenie in the Pole Vault highlighted the 3rd edition of the Meeting International d’Athlétisme de Montreuil, the first leg of the France's Pro Athlé Tour, in Montreuil on Tuesday (7). In a thrilling 100m race, Jamaican Yohan Blake edged Christophe Lemaitre, 9.95 to 9.96, another national record for the Frenchman.

Tamgho, the World indoor record holder (17.92m), was keen to participate in his club’s meeting in order to please his public and also to check his form compared to last year. Last year the triple jumper won with 17.63m (w+2.2) four days before breaking the national record in New York with 17.98m. This season, the schedule is the same and now the 21-year-old knows he is ahead of his plans. Indeed, he leaped a remarkable 17.67m, improving the previous 17.59m world lead set by Philips Idowu, and can travel to New York's adidas Grand Prix Samsung Diamond League fixture with boosted confidence.

“I fell that I’m less in shape than last year, but stronger,” he revealed. “I have some details to fix, I know I can jump very far but each time, there’s a small thing missing. I need to memorize great performance in order to duplicate them at will.”

Cuban Alexis Copello (17.01m, +0.1) was the sole opponent to reach the 17-metre barrier, while Tamgho surpassed the mark with all of his measured jumps: 17.01m (+1.2), 17.67m (+0.6), 17.28m (+0.3), and 17.47m (0.3), fouling in rounds four and six. The runway being very hard, Tamgho didn’t overextend himself during the warm-up, and had some inhibitions during his jumps.

“On the third attempt, I landed at 12 metros after the hop and step, but only reached the sand at 17.28. I had a lot of speed but didn’t managed to carry it on,” the World and European indoor champion said.

Lavillenie scales 5.83m

Lavillenie is also expecting to produce better performance in New York. The start of the competition was difficult - he only cleared 5.43m on his third attempt - and found a fierce competitor in Romain Mesnil. The European indoor champion (6.03m) sharpened his technique and was well over the bar at both 5.63m and 5.73m. Mesnil cleared 5.73m on his second attempt, and missed 5.83m on his first try. As Lavillenie was successful at 5.83m, Mesnil played a tactical game but missed 5.88m and 5.93m. Lavillenie, unable to jump 5.88m, was still satisfied by the one centimetre improvement on his own world leading mark.

“That’s an interesting performance, considering the cool temperature, and the time of the year. We are not prepared yet for long competitions, and I could feel tiredness in my last jumps,” Lavillenie said.

Fast 100m times despite conditions

The rain stopped a few hours before the meeting, but the temperatures dipped to 14° C. by the time of the men’s 100m. On the grass field, before the race, Lemaitre couldn’t warm-up properly, complaining about the 10 minute delay. This was an irritating situation, given the fact that he was running against stiff competition from the Caribbean - Jamiaca's Blake and Daniel Bailey of Antigua.

The triple European champion last year (100m, 200m, 4x100m Relay) had a good reaction to the gun (0.143), faster than Blake, but that was not enough to overtake the Jamaican, who was in front with Briton Dwain Chambers at halfway. While Chambers faded, Blake resisted Lemaitre’s comeback and managed to hold a scant 0.01 advantage at the finish line. The winning time of 9.95 was exceptional given the poor quality of the track, especially in the opening second of the straight. Bailey was timed in 10.00 and Chambers in 10.09. When 9.96 was announced for Lemaitre, the 20-year-old was surprised and jumped for joy.

“Running under 10 seconds so early in the season is extremely encouraging," said Lemaitre, whose performance also improved his own European U-23 record.. "I didn’t felt as good as in Rome (where he placed 3rd in 10.00 behind Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell), and during the race I wasn’t expecting a fast time.”

“In training," Lemaitre continued, "I focused on the final metres as my coach (Pierre Carraz) always says that I’m over-striding.”

Fourty-two steps were not enough against Blake, who ran a wind assisted 9.80 in May. “The weather was very bad today, so running 9.95 in these conditions is very good," Blake said. “This is only my second 100m this year, and I can’t really compare with the windy 9.80 I did four weeks ago. Today, I didn’t come out of the blocks as fast as expected. I need to improve my first 20 metres. My goal this year is to remain injury free and qualify for the World Championships.”

The level this year is exceptional as no less than 15 men have broken the 10-second barrier, 11 of them in the last four days. “That’s fantastic,” Blake said. "That’s what the public is looking for, great performances and tough competition. The level is getting better and better and this is a huge motivation for me to do better in each race.” His next stop will be Strasbourg on Sunday (12), before flying back to Jamaica for the National Trials.

The women's 100m was won by Mariya Ryemyen in 11.25 (w+0.3)

Earlier in the afternoon, Joel Brown took the 110m Hurdles in a season best's 13.22 (+1.0). “Most important here for me was to execute properly and be aggressive between the hurdles,” the American said.

In the women’s 100m Hurdles race, Canada's former world champion Perdita Felicien made the difference over the last three hurdles to win in 12.73 (+1.3).

“This is also a season's best for me, so I’m happy and this is definitively a nice stadium. I can have a better start, but I felt strong in the first five hurdles, and I need to improve my finish in order to be competitive against the 12.5 girls this season,” Felicien said.

Frenchwoman Hind Dehiba Chahyd won the Mile (4:29:59, world lead), Maryna Azamasava from Belarus took the 800m in 1:59.74,  while Ethiopians Mohamed Aman and Ayele Abayneth won the 800m (1:45.74) and 5000m (13:11.01), respectively.

Pierre Jean Vazel for the IAAF

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