Pascal Martinot-Lagarde found himself at the centre of one of the fascinating European athletics stories of 2014, and now he will be gunning to put a golden gloss on his exploits.
Frenchman Martinot-Lagarde won bronze in the 110m hurdles at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich in the summer, beaten by Russia’s Sergey Shubenkov and Great Britain’s Will Sharman.
Watch the Zurich final below:
It was the same 1-2-3 at the European Athletics Team Championships in Braunschweig, with these two races among the best of the season because the trio are so closely matched in the big finals.
But on times alone throughout the season one man stood out - and that was Martinot-Lagarde who was by far Europe’s fastest man.
He ended the summer second in the world with 12.95 - just 0.01 behind Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment - and also ran 13.05 and 13.06 twice.
See Martinot-Lagarde's 12.95 run at the Diamond League in Monaco:
Shubenkov’s best was 13.13 and Sharman’s 13.16, yet they both finished higher up the podium.
Throw all those ingredients into the mix and the trio could make it quite a race in Prague’s O2 Arena at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in March if they are all there.
William Sharman in Winter training:
— William Sharman (@williamsharman) December 8, 2014
The world junior 110m hurdles champion in 2010, Martinot-Lagarde is a performer of outstanding consistency with his two European bronze medals and silver and bronze from the IAAF World Indoor Championships.
Turning the clock back two years to Gothenburg and he was third in the 60m final in a personal best of 7.53 as Shubenkov won in 7.49, so revenge will be very much in the air.
His best now is 7.45 and as none of the three have run competitively this year yet but that will all change in Scotland on Saturday when Martinot-Lagarde competes for France in the Sainsbury´s Glasgow International Match.
He will face, among others at The Emirates Arena, Britain’s David Omoregie in a match that also includes teams from Scotland and Germany.
Another sprinter who is excited to be running in Glasgow is Britain’s Richard Kilty, who soared to the world indoor 60m title last March and then was part of the British gold-medal winning 4x400m relay team at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich in August.
He has not run indoors since his Sopot glory 10 months ago.
I am pretty nervous to get out there, I am sure the crowd will get behind me so I can put in a good performance.