Torun (Poland) (AFP)
Alice Finot created a huge sensation by taking 2nd place in the 3000m of the European Indoor Championships, Friday in Torun, the first medal of the French team in the competition, while the Norwegian phenomenon Jakob Ingebrigtsen, favorite favorite of the 1500m, was disqualified.
Just after Renaud Lavillenie's injury package, the Blues were able to quickly console themselves with this totally unforeseen podium.
No one expected the 30-year-old runner from Montbéliard at such a party.
She herself could not recover from her feat, hitting the track with force on arrival and taking her head in her hands.
Because beyond this new status of European vice-champion, Finot smashed her personal best in 8 min 46 sec 54 behind the Briton Amy-Eloise Markovc (8 min 46 sec 43).
This 2nd position, the Frenchwoman went to look for it with the guts.
After being in ambush during the whole race, she managed to produce her effort in the last 350 meters by avoiding the fall of several competitors in front of her before combing on the post, on a very beautiful "broken", another Briton, Verity Ockenden (8 min 46 sec 60), who had to settle for bronze.
Despite everyone's surprise, Finot was a firm believer in this result.
"I knew when I arrived in Torun that it was doable. There weren't really any girls apart. It's a pride to have fought to the end with the two English women. These are my first championships, I can't wait to see what the future will bring. Tonight, all the planets have aligned. When the result is in line with the investment provided, it is euphoria ", she said, all smiles.
- Ingebrigtsen ruined everything -
"Yesterday (in the series, editor's note), I had run badly but we are learning from his mistakes, she added. I did not want to repeat the same running pattern and I had better legs."
This 3000 m steeplechase specialist thus launches her Olympic season with fanfare and gives a boost to the Blues, who experienced many misfortunes on Friday with the injury of Lavillenie and the early eliminations of Melvin Raffin (triple jump) and Thomas Jordier ( 400 m), two solid chances for medals.
Just after this crazy race, Torun had another surprising outcome with the disqualification of Jakob Ingebrigtsen.
Supposed to be untouchable over 1500 m of which he has held the 5th fastest time in indoor history since February (3 min 31 sec 80), the young Norwegian (20 years old) ruined everything by putting one foot off the track after a collision in the peloton just after the start.
Winner in 3 min 37 sec 56, Ingebrigtsen was relieved of his victory after the finish, to the delight of the Polish Marcin Lewandowski (3 min 38 sec 06).
“It's sport and it can happen to anyone,” Lewandowski explained. “I experienced it at the world championships so I know how he feels now. During the race he was definitely better. He knew I preferred a slower pace so he decided to lead the race really fast. I tried to catch him and I didn't want to fight just for the money. "
But now watch out for the injured beast: Jakob Ingebrigtsen will have the opportunity to redeem himself on Saturday during the 3000m series of which he is the title holder.
© 2021 AFP