Tamgho stars, Obikwelu steal Lemaitre’s Euro thunder | Pakistan Today

Tamgho stars, Obikwelu steal Lemaitre’s Euro thunder

PARIS – France’s Teddy Tamgho bettered his own world record to win the European indoor triple jump title on Sunday, but there was heartbreak for French sprint king Christophe Lemaitre. Tamgho twice leaped 17.92 metres, beating by 1cm the previous best he set at the French indoor championships on February 20. “The competition was very tough and intense,” said the 21-year-old who finished fourth in the long jump in his bid for a rare double.
“After Marian Oprea and Fabrizio Donato jumped 17.62 and 17.70, I realised I was only third. “I couldn’t imagine losing at home so I went to get a huge jump and managed 17.92. I did what I had to do to win.” But Lemaitre was undone by two veterans of the sprint circuit, Portugal’s Nigerian-born Francis Obikwelu and Britain’s reigning world and European indoor champion Dwain Chambers.
Obikwelu, who lost out on gold to the disgraced Justin Gatlin at the 2004 Athens Olympics by one-hundredth of a second, proved to have the superior dip in the Bercy arena, east Paris, winning in 6.53 seconds.
Chambers was 0.01sec off, with Lemaitre, who won an unprecedented treble sprint gold at last summer’s Euro outdoors in Barcelona, could only manage third in 6.58. “I knew Chambers and Lemaitre were dangerous, so I just kept relaxed,” said the 32-year-old injury-prone Obikwelu. “I was hoping to be in the top three but I never thought I was going to win. I pushed fast and then it’s just about running and having fun.”
Chambers, also 32, said: “It just shows that us older men can still run! “My ambition coming here was to win, but Obikwelu was better. I struggled in the heat and semi-final, so I’m happy with silver.” Lemaitre, a veritable whippersnapper at just 20, said he was disappointed to have missed out on gold. “I felt very good in the warm-up,” he said. “But doing well in the warm-up and doing well in the race are two very different things. “You cannot afford to miss one thing with this race. I’m happy to get a medal but at the same time I feel miserable because I didn’t show my best race.”



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