Montreuil and Athens start the 2017 Outdoor Permit Meetings

French sprinter Christophe Lemaitre
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French sprinter Christophe Lemaitre continued his return from injury with victory over 100m in Montreuil

The curtain was raised on the 2017 series of European Athletics Outdoor Permit meetings in both France and Greece on Thursday night (1).

French sprinters took the plaudits at the European Athletics Classic Permit Meeting in the Parisian suburb of Montreuil when the former European Athlete of the Year Christophe Lemaitre won his first 100m of the year in 10.18, beating a strong international field.

His rapidly improving 22-year-old compatriot Carole Zahi took the women’s 100m in a personal best of 11.18, beating Bulgaria’s 2012 European champion Ivet Lalova-Collio, who was second in 11.26.

Also quick out of her blocks was Norway’s Isabelle Pedersen who won the 100m hurdles in 12.83. France’s 20-year-old Laura Valette took 0.14 off her personal best to finish second in 13.05.

In the field events, reigning European champion Pawel Fajdek continues to reign supreme in the hammer and remains unbeaten this year, winning his fourth successive competition over 80 metres with his best effort of 80.14m coming in the opening round. France’s Quentin Bigot was a distant second with 76.00m.

France’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games discus silver medallist Melina Robert-Michon also had to settle for second in Montreuil as she could only manage 59.81m and was beaten by Ukraine’s Natalya Semyonova, who won with 60.97m.

Germany’s Melanie Bauschke won the long jump with 6.55m while Russia’s Olga Mullina, competing as a neutral athlete, was the best in pole vault as the only woman over 4.60m.

Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment won a quick 110m hurdles in 13.19, just edging out France’s two-time European silver medallist Garfield Darien, who was just 0.01 in arrears when finishing in 13.20, just 0.05 off his five-year-old personal best. Aurel Manga was third in a personal best of 13.27.

Great Britian’s Shelayna Oskan-Clarke was the women’s 800m winner in 2:00.73.

Former world indoor champion Konstadinos Filippidis won the 5th annual Athens Street Pole Vault, a European Athletics Special Premium Permit Meeting, with 5.70m. He then had the bar raised to 5.77m in Syntagma Square in the centre of the Greek capital but was unsuccessful.

Last year’s European U18 champion Emmanouil Karalis cleared an outdoor best of 5.63m for second place to confirm his status as a medal contender at the European Athletics U20 Championships next month.