Iain Martin

22 Jan 17

Tignes Hosts Indoor Athletics International

Iain Martin

22 Jan 17

It’s not all about skiing, the French ski resort of Tignes recently reinforced their reputation for innovation as they hosted an International athletics competition for the first time.

The Open d’Athle Indoor included a long jump, pole vault and the blue riband event – a 60m sprint, featuring Olympic medal winner and French poster boy, Christophe Lemaitre.

The sprint format allowed local athletes the chance to try and qualify to race against Lemaitre, but it was the veteran British athlete Dwain Chambers who he faced in the final.

Chambers brought the best out of Lemaitre who set his second fastest ever time of 6”58 – just 3/100ths of a second outside his PB – in winning the head-to-head format.

Lemaitre found the altitude challenging: “It felt like I had run 100m, but I was very happy with how I felt afterwards. I hope there are more events like this as the head-to-head format is great.”

The 200m silver medal winner from Rio will not compete at the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade in March as he is fully focussed on achieving a podium place at the World Championships in London this summer.

The winner of the pole vault competition was Frenchman Stanley Joseph with a successful jump of 5.63m. Second place went to Alexandre Feger, with Mathieu Collet and Kevin Menaldo in equal third place.

Although he did not compete due to injury, 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Renaud Lavillenie still attended the event and was in Tignes for a week.

The world record holder (6.16m) told the Dauphine Libere that despite being unable to compete he still enjoyed his time in Tignes, including a visit to the Grand Motte glacier.

(Image credit Andy Parant)