Martinot-Lagarde checks in for Prague

Martinot-Lagarde checks in for Prague
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Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, of France, will be present in Prague for the European Athletics Indoor Championships from 6-8 March.

Pascal Martinot-Lagarde will be in Prague next week after overcoming the injury that threatened his hopes of competing at the European Athletics Indoor Championships.

The French sprint hurdler was left frustrated last summer with bronze at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich because he was the world leader.

A hamstring problem in January has disrupted his plans but he will run the 60m hurdles at the O2 Arena and it could be quite an event because his teammates are the quickest two in Europe this year.

His tweet translates to "Good news is I am operational for Prague to give everything I've got on 6 March!!!"

Martinot-Lagarde has a best time of 7.63 from Glasgow in January which is sixth on the European Athletics rankings that are led by his French teammates Dimitri Bascou, with 7.48, and Wilhem Belocian, with 7.53.

So if all goes to plan, it could be a 1-2-3 finish for France.

Germany have named a team of 39 athletes – 21 men, 18 women – with David Storl, a double European shot put champion outdoors, seeking his first indoor crown.

He leads the European Athletics rankings, as does another big Prague hope, Homiyu Tesfaye, after his 1500m national record of 3:34.13 in Stockholm last week.

Germany have other strong medal chances in a number of events, including Verena Sailer in the 60m, Kai Kazmirek in the heptathlon and Cindy Roleder in the 60m hurdles.

It was has been a brilliant year for Iceland’s Anita Hinriksdottir with her European Athletics Junior 800m record of 2:01.77 and she will be at the forefront of their team at the O2 Arena.

That time puts her fourth in the European Athletics rankings, giving her hope of making the Prague podium.

Donald Sanford, who won 400m bronze in Zurich, is one of four Israeli athletes heading to the Czech Republic while in the Ukraine team, Andriy Protsenko, who won high jump silver at the Letzigrund Stadium, will be aiming for more glory.

Sweden have so far named a team of 12 but that could grow before the cut-off on Sunday. It includes the two long jumpers who won medals in front of their home crowd at the last European Athletics Championships in Gothenburg, Michel Torneus, who won silver, in the men’s event and Erica Jarder, who took bronze in the women’s.