Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, the 110-meter sprint hurdler with staying power!

Monday, 22 august 2022

Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, a sprint hurdler supported by the Caisse d’Epargne Ile-de-France via the Performance Pact, won his 12th medal in an international competition at the European Championships in Munich: a fine example of staying power at an elite level.

A competitor at heart

You can tell a champion by their ability to push themselves beyond their limits in major events. According to this definition, Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, a 30-year-old sprint hurdler, is undoubtedly a champion.  By coming in 2nd in the 110m hurdles at the European Championships in Munich, just one thousandth of a second behind the winner, ‘PML’ (as he is known) claimed his 12th international medal. He has that no so common ability to push himself beyond his limits when the pressure is on… and displaying a constant good mood and a way of always seeing the positive side of every situation. This two-time Olympic finalist could be excused, however, if he railed against fate and the injuries inflicted upon him. Each time he’s been down, Pascal has overcome adversity and clawed his way back to the highest level. Just like this year’s season when he suffered a calf injury. He underwent intensive rehabilitation in the Clairefontaine training center but arrived too late for the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon (USA). For the European Championships, he had to struggle against his own body and a bad sore throat. But PML is an outstanding competitor. Although his French record of 12.95 seconds dates back to 2014, he claimed yet another medal this summer.

In the chronicles of the discipline

It’s undoubtedly his passion for the 110m hurdles that keeps him at this level. He discovered this discipline thanks to his older brother Thomas, whom he once saw break a French record in the 14/15-year age category. They spent a large part of their careers together, with Thomas reaching the final of the World Championships in 2013.

The most iconic of Pascal’s medals is surely his 2015 European title in what will remain a historic race in the annals of French athletics considering that the first three hurdlers to finish were all French. That year, Pascal Martinot-Lagarde had been injured throughout the season and just scraped through the selection with the barest minimum, only having taken part in a minor competition and arrived in Prague with no idea of his relative level. And hurdles are a discipline in which – perhaps more so than in any other – you need regular races and competitions to have an idea of your standing. Despite these extremely adverse conditions, PML still managed to win! It’s his driving passion that makes him this unique champion. He now joins the great names like Guy Drut and Ladji Doucouré in the chronicles of his discipline.

“We share the same flame”