Vive la France! Pascal Martinot Lagarde leads 1,2,3 sweep of 60m hurdles in Euro Indoors! by Larry Eder
Allez les bleus!
On Friday evening, March 6, the French hurdling trio of Pascal Martinot Lagarde, Dimitri Bescou, and Wilhelm Belocian made history. Never before in European Indoors, all 23 of them, had one country swept the 60 meter hurdles!
Well, scratch that record!
Pascal Martinot Lagarde is a fine hurdler. In 2014, Martinot Lagarde went from 13.14 to 12.95 and set a French National record. He also under performed in Zurich, at the European Outdoors and took the bronze, in an event he might have won.
So, as Pascal Martinot-Lagarde went through the round 1 and semi final of the 60 meter hurdles on Friday, most were pleased, but not sure if Pascal could defeat his younger teammate, Dmitri Bascou. Bascou and Belocian, the World Junior champ were very tough in the semi-finals.
Lawrence Clarke, the GBR hurdler, had told British media that he saw the French as tops, and if one faltered, he was there. The line among the hurdlers was that the French hurdlers could sweep, and Dmitri Bascou should probably defeat Pascal Martinot-Lagarde.
But that was not the story that Martinot-Lagarde wanted. He seemed all business during the first round and semi-final.
In the final, Dmitri Bascou was the one who got out best! Bascou was in the lead, and battling Belocisan when, Martinot-Lagarde began to move. In this race, a race that Pascal Martinot-Lagarde had to either perform are be an also ran, Pasal Martinot-Lagarde choose to perform.
Lagarde came from behind and caught Dimitri Bascou from the fourth hurdle and out leanded Bascou at the finish, taking the gold in 7.49. Dmitri Bascou took the silver in 7.50, clearly racing quite well. An WJ champion Wilhelm Belocian made the sweep a reality by staying out of trouble and taking the bronze in 7.52, being contention the entire way.
What is it about the French hurdlers? Their pride, their technique, the importance of training together and challenging each other. All of those intangibles are key, but on March 6, three French hurdlers made history in the O2 Arena in Prague.