Robert-Michon sets a world lead of 64.14m to qualify for her sixth Olympics

Melina Robert-Michon
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Melina Robert-Michon showed excellent early season form with a world leading mark and Olympic qualifying mark of 64.14m at the French Winter Throwing Championships

France’s Melina Robert-Michon produced her best throw in nearly three years at the French Winter Throwing Championships in Salon-de-Provence on Sunday (16).

Robert-Michon began her series with a solid effort of 61.97m which would have sufficed for victory but the 40-year-old added more than two metres to this mark in the sixth round with 64.14m - her longest throw since the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London where she won a bronze medal.

This performance was especially noteworthy as she eclipsed world champion Yaime Perez’s early season world lead by one centimetre and she also comfortably surpassed the Olympic qualifying standard for Tokyo 2020 of 63.50m.

Robert-Michon looks all but certain to make her sixth successive French Olympic team. She made her debut in Sydney 2000 but she had to wait until Rio de Janeiro sixteen years later to collect her first medal, winning silver behind the indomitable Croatian Sandra Perkovic.

And a seventh European Championships appearance also beckons on home soil in Paris at the end of August. Her international career stretches back some four decades to the 1998 European Championships where she made her senior debut in Budapest.

Robert-Michon exited in qualifying on her debut in the Hungarian capital but she reached the podium sixteen years later in Zurich 2014, winning silver once again behind Perkovic.