Experienced sprint hurdler Pascal Martinot-Lagarde and reigning European champion Wilhem Belocian headline a nine-member French team selected for the World Athletics Indoor Championships 2022 to be held from 18-20 March.
Missing from the team, though, is the reigning world indoor heptathlon champion Kevin Mayer, who will not defend his title because of an Achilles injury. Read more about it here: World record holder Kevin Mayer pulls out of World Indoor Championships
Belocian, the 2021 European Indoor Championships gold medalist in the 60m hurdles, will be targeting a medal at Belgrade 2022 after showing some good form in the last couple of meetings. The 26-year-old won the national title at the French Indoor Championships last month at 7.53 seconds and then matched that time when extending his solid winter form with another victory in Paris over the weekend.
Martinot-Lagarde, meanwhile, will be aiming to add to his major championships medal haul when he joins Belocian in the men’s 60m hurdles. The 30-year-old who already owns two world indoor championships silver medals and one bronze, will look to add to that tally when he returns to Belgrade, the place where he won a European indoor silver medal in 2017.
Cyrena Samba-Mayela is one of three women named to the women’s team and she will compete in the women’s 60m hurdles. The 21-year-old owns a PB of 7.84 seconds, which she clocked in Karlsruhe, in January.
Meanwhile, former world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie will not be traveling to Serbia for the World Indoor Championships 2022. But there will be another Lavillenie in the men’s pole vault competition, as European indoor silver medallist Valentin Lavillenie has been selected along with Thibaut Collet.
The French team is completed by men’s triple jumpers Jean-Marc Pontvianne and Melvin Raffin, as well as Aurore Fleury who will compete in the women’s 1500m, and Leonie Cambours in the pentathlon.
French team for the World Indoor Championships 2022
1500m: Aurore Fleury
60m hurdles: Cyrena Samba-Mayela
Pentathlon: Leonie Cambours
60m hurdles: Wilhem Belocian, Pascal Martinot-Lagarde
Pole vault: Thibaut Collet, Valentin Lavillenie
Triple jump: Jean-Marc Pontvianne, Melvin Raffin