After excelling two years ago in London (five medals including three titles), the team of France presents itself in Doha with some sure values but especially many outsiders who will have to surpass themselves to hope to get on the podium.
- The favorites: Mayer and Diniz -
A world record holder since September 2018 (9,126 points), Kevin Mayer enjoys the status of a huge favorite in the world of decathlon. The defending champion, still young (27 years old), continues to progress (records by weight and 110 m hurdles this season) and has a huge margin on the competition. Only a hitch like the Berlin Euro in 2018 (zero to the length) could deprive him of the title.
Also holding the title, Yohann Diniz will start from 50 km with the best time of the year (3:37:43 in Lithuania in May). The world record holder (3:32:33) is a favorite but his age (41 years), the heat conditions announced and the hazards of this extremely long ordeal (gastric problems, diet, hydration) encourage caution.
- Medal possible: Lavillenie, Tavernier -
It only misses the world title outside the huge list of Renaud Lavillenie, Olympic champion in 2012. But at 33, after a frustrating season (a better jump to 5.85m only), the World record holder (6.16m in 2014) is not a favorite against the new generation and his three pole vaulters at more than 6m this year: American Sam Kendricks, Sweden's Armand Duplantis and Pole Pyotr Lisek. Lavillenie is counting on the experience and magic of a night to turn the table around.
Gradually, Alexandra Tavernier forged a remarkable record (Vice European Champion 2018, 3rd World 2015). With a new French record this year (74.84 m) and the absence of the Polish N.1 world Anita Wlodarczyk, the Annecy is a candidate for the podium.
- On the lookout: Bigot, PML, Belhocian -
Fourth in the last Worlds in London, the hammer thrower Quentin Bigot aspires to the next stage and is among the many contenders for the podium, even if the two Poles Pawel Fajdek and Wojciech Nowicki seem to come off.
The hurdler Pascal Martinot-Lagarde is looking for his first outdoor podium in the world. Slower than in the past, he still managed to win at the Berlin Euro last year, enough to give him confidence. A podium on high hedges, French specialty, could also come from Wilhem Belocian: very fit this season, the Guadeloupe has played eyes in the eyes with the best including the Diamond League meetings of Stanford and London (2nd) .
- Good surprises? -
Far in the balance sheets, the discobol Mélina Robert-Michon, returned after a second pregnancy, still looking for a 3rd world medal at age 40, confident in its ability to be in shape on the day.
Holding title over 800m, Pierre-Ambroise Bosse is far from the best from a chronometric point of view, but rid of any physical glitch. And his feat of 2017 showed that he knew how to surprise.
Without the huge star Usain Bolt, the overall level of the 100m seems to have dropped in recent years. An opportunity to seize for Jimmy Vicaut, even if it has not come down under 10 seconds this year? Or on the relay 4x100 m with Christophe Lemaitre including?
In the women's 800m, the absence of the South African Caster Semenya rebats the cards promising a tactical race that could benefit an outsider like Rénelle Lamote.
For Ludvy Vaillant, 4th best performer of the year over 400m hurdles, access to the podium seems blocked by three faster competitors by more than a second. But a hitch on the hedges quickly arrived ...
© 2019 AFP