Injuries might have disrupted his 2019 campaign but Great Britain’s Andrew Pozzi made a promising start to his 2020 season at the Meeting de Paris Indoor on Sunday (2), a European Athletics Indoor Premium Permit Meeting.
The world and European indoor 60m hurdles champion clocked a world leading 7.56 in the heats to match his fastest ever season’s opener and he comfortably had the beating of reigning European 110m hurdles champion and home favourite Pascal Martinot-Lagarde in the final - 7.52 to 7.66.
World indoor bronze medallist Aurel Manga was third in 7.68 although their combined events compatriot Kevin Mayer was a late withdrawal from the competition. However, the world decathlon record-holder was still part of an engrossed 10,000-strong crowd at the AccorHotels Arena.
“I felt some discomfort in my Achilles tendon," explained Mayer. "The last three weeks have been a little bit complicated in training. I came here to meet with the fans and the other hurdles. I cannot allow myself to take any risks in an Olympic year."
Holly Bradshaw ensured two British victories at the first Indoor Permit Meeting of 2020, although the European indoor silver medallist had to share the spoils with French record-holder Ninon Guillon-Romarin.
Both Bradshaw and Guillon-Romarin recorded identical cards with first-time clearances from 4.41m to 4.61m before three unsuccessful attempts at 4.71m. A jump-off ensued but neither vaulter was successful at either at a fourth attempt at 4.71m or 4.66m.
Thanks Paris for putting on such an awesome comp!
Felt a bit alien & lacked discipline but was SUPER FUN to be back on 16 steps & 460s in competition! Best jump of the day was a ✖️ so here's one of my 471 attempt
ALSO thanks to Mizuno my onesie felt so special! pic.twitter.com/r31HuU2pwI
— Holly Bradshaw (@HollyBradshawPV) February 2, 2020
Home favourite Cynthia Leduc, 22, defeated a strong American contingent in the 60m. The European U23 100m silver medallist was the fastest in the heats with 7.30 and she produced a lifetime best of 7.25 in the final to beat Mary Elizabeth Price and Kiara Parker, both of whom were timed at 7.31.
“I came here to beat my lifetime best,” said Leduc. “In the final I tried to put together a better start than I did in the heat. I have to check to see if this was the case.”
From an international standpoint, the standout performance of the evening was Fabrice Hugues Zango’s record-breaking exploits in the triple jump.
Born in Burkina Faso but based in France and coached by Teddy Tamgho, Zango bounded out to an outright African record of 17.77m to move to equal fourth on the world all-time list behind Sweden’s Christian Olsson (17.83m), Cuba’s Aliecer Urrutia (17.83m) and Tamgho who jumped 17.92m at the 2011 European Indoor Championships in Paris.
Full results here.