Ronald Pognon speeds to a 9.99 French record in the 100m - Lausanne (Hasse Sjögren) © Copyright
General News

Pognon plans Euro Indoor test towards Osaka goal

France’s European Indoor 60m record holder Ronald Pognon is leaving his indoor racing schedule wide open in an effort to better gauge his preparations for his major goals in the 2007 outdoor season, which of course is centred on the 11th IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan.

Pognon, 24, changed his coaching set-up over the summer and is now under the guidance of Pierre-Jean Vazel , whose group also contains Nigerian Olusoji Fasuba, the African record holder for 100m (9.85).

Just once under 10 seconds in his career when setting the national record of 9.99 when taking a surprise win at the 2005 Athletissima meeting in Lausanne on 5 July 2005, Pognon will open his indoor campaign in 2007 over 60m in a meeting in Mondeville, France on 27 January. His form in that opener will decide the next steps of his indoor campaign which will probably consist of a few German meetings though nothing is yet confirmed.

One stepping stone which secure in Pognon’s route plan, of course on the basis that he gets selected, is the European Indoor Championships in Birmingham, UK, from 2 – 4 March 2006. The qualification heats and semi-finals stages of the men’s 60m are on Saturday 3 March, while the final on Sunday 4 March will the last individual gold medal of the championships to be decided.

Pognon, who was originally coached by Jean-Claude Berquier and then Guy Ontanon, took the European Indoor silver medal in Madrid in 2005, and will be keen to take the European crown to go with the continental indoor record which he has held since his blitzed to a 6.45 time at the LBBW meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany on 13 February 2005. In Birmingham next March, Pognon is likely to face reigning three-time European Indoor 60m champion Jason Gardener (GBR), the man from whom he took thAT European best.

European Junior (2001) and U23 (2003) 100m champion, and a member of France’s World Championship winner 4x100m squad in Helsinki 2005, Pognon has yet to develop into the major senior individual championship winner many have predicted he would become. He was fourth in last August’s European 100m final in 10.16, and ended the 2006 season in Europe with his season’s fastest of 10.10 when coming sixth at the World Athletics Final in Stuttgart, Germany on 9 September, and then placed fifth at the World Cup in Athens, Greece on 16 September with 10.17. 

Chris Turner for the IAAF