Benjamin Robert and Azeddine Habz make their mark at the European Indoor Championships
The series in the middle distance are often traps, even more indoors with guaranteed elbow…
The series in the middle distance are often traps, even more indoors with guaranteed elbow battles. A trap that Benjamin Robert and Azeddine Habz easily thwarted. Candidate for the medal after his recent successes in Metz and LiévinRobert extended his invincibility (he also won the French Elite Championships) by winning the fifth series of the 800m at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul, this Thursday evening.
In 1’47”92, the Toulousain reached the semi-finals (scheduled for Saturday) which is not the case in particular for the Belgian Tibo De Smet, the second best performer in the world in the winter. “I’m good, I have good feelings, I had big competitors with meexplains the finalist of the European Championships in Munich. I manage to react to the situation. Be careful because the chrono is not monstrous, the sensations are very good without being the best. It’s good for getting started, especially having arrived the day before (Wednesday) at 10 p.m., there was better to do on the part of the Federation, we are not going to hide. I go to the semis, that’s the goal, race after race. »
Among the women, the French women were not far from 100% with the qualifications of Léna Kandissounon (2nd in series 4 in 2’05”80) and Agnès Raharolahy (1st in series 5 in 2′ 04”56), while Charlotte Pizzo stopped there (4th in series 1 in 2’04”89).
“My bad choices for the French Championships woke me up about race management, I knew it could be very tricky from the series, like there, and I had been fooled like a younger girlexplains Raharolahy. I didn’t want to make the same mistake again. I managed to make the race hard for the girls behind. »
On the 1,500m, Azeddine Habz returned the same copy. Among the outsiders for the podium in the 1,500m, the Frenchman offered himself the ticket for the final (this Friday) by winning his series in 3’49”88, notably ahead of the Olympic champion in the distance, Jakob Ingebrigsten , passed quietly between the drops by moving back to 300 m from the line (3rd in 3’50”29).
“The goal was to leave as few feathers as possible, it’s done, I wonreleased Habz. I knew I was in the top three but to be sure I preferred to win. I expected a race like that from Jakob, because he has four races with the 3000m. He had no interest in running fast. I’m super happy with this series because it got me going, it’s been a long time since I ran, two weeks. Tomorrow (Friday), in the final, I will try everything. I am ready for all schemes: fast, tactical. »
And while the Briton Neil Gourley also qualified easily in the third series – 2nd world performer in the winter behind Ingebrigtsen – the Frenchman Louis Gilavert took advantage of the pace to also pass the time (4th in this series in 3 ’41”45) after a somewhat choppy finish.
For the rest, the Blues lost a lot of feathers in this first evening in the Ataköy Athletics Arena. In the triple jump, Benjamin Compaoré (16.16 m) and Enzo Hodebar (16.09 m) remained at the dock while the gates of the final were played at 16.20 m.
And while Leila Hadji did not pass the cut in the 3,000m series (8th in 9’12”53), the adventure also stopped for high jumpers Nawal Meniker and Solène Gicquel, both eliminated after stopping at 1.87m.
A cleaver which has not gone far for the Ukrainian Yaroslava Mahuchick. The indoor world champion and best performer of the winter, with 2.02 m, failed twice at 1.87 m, before crossing 1.91 m on her only attempt.