Vicaut plots a big time in 2014

Vicaut plots a big time in 2014
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Jimmy Vicaut eyes the 100m gold medal at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, to become the European sprint champion indoors and out.

Jimmy Vicaut had quite a year in 2013 - and now he is hoping for something even greater.

As the seven-month countdown draws close to the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, it could become a record-breaking time for the 100m too.

Portugal's Francis Obikwelu is the only man to win gold in less than 10 seconds in the 70-year history of the championships in 2006 in Gothenburg, but 2014 could change all that.

Vicaut hopes to be at the head of that field. The Frenchman wants to add the 100m title to the 60m gold he won last March to earn the honour of being European sprint champion indoors and out.

The men's 100m is going to be one of the showpiece events at the European Athletics Championships which open in Zurich on Tuesday 12 August.

Last summer, Vicaut smashed the 10 seconds barrier for the first time and he was not the only European to achieve that mark as Great Britain's James Dasaolu did the same with his 9.91.

But then Vicaut's French teammate Christophe Lemaitre eclipsed them both by being Europe's leading 100m sprinter at the IAAF World Championships when he finished seventh in 10.06 with Dasaolu eighth in 10.21.

Vicaut's 10.01 in the semi-finals was not enough to see him through, but it hardly put a dampener on his year.

He ran a personal best of 9.95 when he won the French Championships, having taken 60m gold at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Gothenburg in March, when he was given the nod in a world-leading 6.48 from Dasaolu who finished with the same time.

Not only will there be strong competition among Vicaut, Lemaitre and Dasaolu but Adam Gemili also showed his pace with his 19.98 in the Moscow heats of the 200m - the second best ever by a Briton - will also be in with a major chance, let alone those who will emerge in the weeks and months ahead.

But that is not all Vicaut is hoping 2014 will bring.

In June the football World Cup takes place in Brazil and he said: "I will follow France and the Côte d‘Ivoire because I have origins from the Ivory Coast."

Vicaut's mother is Ivorian and it is likely that as he is watching the month of soccer action explode onto television screens across the globe, his thoughts might also take him two years ahead to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

His progress has been outstanding and Zurich this summer could be the moment when he sends out an even bigger message about his talent.

"Being European champion in the 100m," is his goal for the year, as he told rtl.fr. But even though he is in a business all about speed, it is equally about making a gradual climb towards the targets ahead.

"There is the European Championships, the World Championships and then the Olympics. I will try not to get injured for three years and run as quickly as possible," he concluded.