Vicaut opens with 9.97 in Dijon


    A familiar name sits atop of the European 100m rankings – and his timing could not be better.

    French star Jimmy Vicaut, the joint European record-holder, moved to top spot on the 2017 rankings - and equal fifth on the world lists - with a blistering time of 9.97 at the French Interclubs in Dijon to break the sub-10 barrier for the 19th time.

    Tomorrow marks exactly a month until Lille stages the European Athletics Team Championships Super League and with this performance, Vicaut has put himself in pole position to win that event for a third time after back-to-back wins in 2013 and 2014.

    Vicaut, who was making his season's debut at the distance on Sunday, has ended the last three years as Europe’s fastest sprinter, the last two of those with his times of 9.86 which equalled the European 100m record he shares with Portugal’s Francis Obikwelu.

    And under the guidance since October of his new coach Dimitri Demoniere, himself a former sprinter, he has found the early rhythm to launch a bid for a big summer with his target being an individual medal at the IAAF World Championships in London in August.

    Also in Dijon, ahead of selection for the European Team Championships, Eloyse Lesueur, the two-time European long jump champion, continued her progression in the triple jump, stretching her personal best from 13.55m to 14.10m.

    After an injury-plagued indoor season, Renaud Lavillenie returned to form with a 5.83m clearance in the Shanghai Diamond League last weekend and the world record-holder cleared 5.80m in Aix-Les-Bains before three attempts at 5.90m.

    Lavillenie will be aiming for his sixth win at the European Athletics Team Championships in Lille next month on the road to the World Championships in London where he will be looking to claim that elusive world title to complete the set.

    With world record-holder Ashton Eaton now retired, Kevin Mayer looks set to take the mantle and the Olympic silver medallist put together a good set of performances in Valence. He surpassed the 50m line in the discus for the first time with 50.13m and cleared 5.30m in the pole vault before attempting 5.50m.

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