France and Spain announce teams for European Athletics Team Championships

Renaud Lavillenie at the European Athletics Team Championships
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Renaud Lavillenie won on home soil for France at the European Athletics Team Championships Super League in Lille Metropole in 2017

Renaud Lavillenie is the most successful athlete in a single discipline at the European Athletics Team Championships and he will be looking to extend his gleaming record in the Super League in Bydgoszcz from 9-11 August.

Lavillenie has competed for France at every edition of the European Athletics Team Championships since the inaugural edition in 2009 when he took his first of six victories. The world record-holder also surpassed the six metre-mark for the first time in his career in that competition - setting a still-standing championship record of 6.01m.

The only glitch on Lavillenie’s otherwise faultless record was a fifth-place finish in 2011 when bad weather forced the pole vault in Stockholm to be moved indoors but the 32-year-old is unbeaten since then, most recently winning on home soil in Lille Metropole two years ago with 5.80m. 

Fresh from clearing a season’s best of 5.85m to win the French title in Saint Etienne, Lavillenie has been named on a 55-strong team for Bydgoszcz.

Other standout names includes European 110m hurdles champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, joint European 100m record-holder Jimmy Vicaut, European U23 5000m and 10,000m champion Jimmy Gressier in the 3000m and European hammer silver medallist Alexandra Tavernier. Olympic 200m bronze medallist Christophe Lemaitre has only been named for the 4x100m relay.

Now 40, Melina Robert-Michon also returns to international competition after missing the 2018 season on maternity leave. Robert-Michon is another stalwart of the championships, amassing an outstanding record in the discus. She has won the last four editions (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017) and also finished second a decade ago in Leiria.

The French team finished third as a collective in Lille Metropole two years ago behind Germany and Poland to equal their best ever finish.

The full French team can be found here.

Spain has also named their team for the European Athletics Team Championships Super League which features reigning European indoor champions Alvaro de Arriba (800m) and Ana Peleteiro (triple jump).

The Spaniards will be expecting good points from European leader Orlando Ortega in the 110m hurdles, Kevin Lopez in the 1500m and former European indoor champion Adel Mechaal in the 3000m while Fernando Carro, who set a national record and European lead of 8:05.69 in Monaco, is the favourite to win the 3000m steeplechase.

Former European 200m champion Bruno Hortelano will also make his season’s debut in the 4x400m relay.

The full Spanish team can be found here.