Athletics: PML is capable of pulling off an exploit

Wednesday, 4 august 2021

Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, an athlete supported by the Caisse d’Epargne Ile de France*, has qualified for the 110m hurdles final and is perfectly capable of winning a medal

A veritable French tradition

Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, a.k.a. “PML,” is keeping up an old French tradition: the excellence of French athletes in the hurdles! He’ll be competing in the 110m hurdles final in Tokyo tomorrow morning along with his fellow French hurdling specialist Aurel Manga. Ever since Guy Drut, who won gold in Montreal and silver in Munich, Michèle Chardonnet, bronze medalist in Los Angeles, Patrick Girard, bronze medalist in Atlanta or Dimitri Bascou in Rio, France boasts a host of male and female champions in the sprint hurdles event. It’s undoubtedly the discipline in which French athletes have won the largest number of medals, along with the pole vault. In line with this worthy tradition, the French are well represented once again with two runners in the final.

Great consistency at the highest level

PML performs at the highest level with impressive regularity. He already reached the finals of the European Championships in 2014 (3rd), the World Championships in Beijing in 2015 (4th) and in Rio in 2016 (4th), the European Championships in 2017 (1st) and the World Championships in Doha in 2019 (3rd). An ability to achieve results with this degree of consistency is clearly the mark of a champion: an all the more impressive achievement as PML continues to perform at this level without losing his sunny disposition, and without exaggerating the stakes. This is also, perhaps, part of the secret of his success.

This time, he handled his semi-final with brio, coming 2nd in 13.25 seconds with a favorable wind of 0.3 m/s in a race won by the Jamaican Ronald Levy, 2 hundredths of a second faster. Considering his performance during this race, he has the potential of going even faster. As he pointed out as he left the track, the outcome of the final remains an open question. He hasn’t been able to focus 100% on his speed for a while as he’s been using his time to work on his starts. His ability to keep up a good pace at the end of the race is already well known. So he has a strong card to play… Which gives us all an excellent reason to set our alarm clocks and watch this final on Thursday at 4:55am…

* Via the Performance Pact

Photo copyright: KMSP