Pascal Martinot-Lagarde reinforced the impression that the Frenchman is the favourite for the men’s 60m hurdles gold medal with a flawed but still fast first heat win in 7.56, a time equalled by Great Britain’s Andrew Pozzi when winning the fourth and final heat of the morning.
Martinot-Lagarde had a sluggish start, apparently because he didn’t hear the gun properly, but once he got into his stride, he flowed over the hurdles and had the luxury of being able to ease up off the final barrier.
After making a breakthough at this event and getting the bronze medal two years in Istanbul, he will now have his eyes on moving up the podium
Pozzi, one place behind Martinot-Lagarde in Istanbul, had to work a little harder for his victory and fast time, and was chased to the line by Martinot-Lagarde’s compatriot and two-time European 110m hurdles silver medallist Garfield Darien, who finished second and was given the same time, but will still have been very satisfied with his performance.
Watching Pozzi from the media tribune was the fellow Briton and 60m hurdles world record-holder Colin Jackson, a former winner of the world indoor title, who is in Sopot working for a British broadcaster.
Jackson will also have noted with pleasure the fact that the third heat was won by another British hurdler, William Sharman, who clocked an indoor personal best of 7.59 and relegated the US champion Omo Osaghae to second place in 7.61.
The second heat went to US hurdler Dominic Berger in 7.61, with Russia’s 2013 European indoor champion Sergey Shubenkov second in 7.62.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF