French Championships – Day One - 10.95 for Arron

Saturday 17 July 2004
17 July 2004 - Sotteville-les-Rouen, France - Sprinter Christine Arron produced the highlight of the opening day of the French championships when she ran the second fastest time in world for this season for 100m in 10.95 (+1.6m/s) on Friday evening (16 July).

Sylviane Félix (11.26) and Véronique Mang (11.28) completed the podium.

Three good races in 2.5hrs point well for Athens

It is the first time Arron has broken the 11 seconds barrier in legal conditions since her 10.99 in June 2000. Benefiting from excellent weather conditions that had been lacking in her last outings, the mother of 2-year-old Ethan, displayed her ability to sustain three races in two hours and a half, raising her level each time (11.14 in the heat and 11.03 in semi-final), despite the absence of real competition.

"I felt good even though I didn’t sleep much – we were woken up at 7 AM by hammers and drills in the hotel. I concentrated hard as usual. From the first race, I had very good feelings on the track, I ran smooth, in good posture. In the second race, I accelerated and from then I knew I could dip under 11 seconds. This result is promising for the future,” commented Arron after the final.

And the immediate future will be the 200m - where she’ll meet Paris 2003 bronze medallist Muriel Hurtis - as a rehearsal of her Olympic programme.

Raquil – fitness doubts remain

Marc Raquil, the 400m bronze medallist at last year’s world championships, was undoubtedly the second highest draw of the meet for his second race of the season following his 46.73 debut in a low-key meeting in Nogent-sur-Marne on June 27. But the question mark surrounding his fitness - his preparation was marred by several injuries to the quadriceps, the ankle and the hip - wasn’t removed after a heat won in 47.15

“I had the race well in control and could slow down in the last 50 metres. This second race was however more difficult than the first in Nogent, maybe because I have more pressure. I didn’t show up a lot this year so it’s not easy to start directly with the national championships. My ankle is not steady yet so I still have to keep it strapped,” declared Raquil, who was not really willing to talk to much.

Overview of the finals on Day One

In the finals that took place on Friday, the men’s 100m title went to 2003 champion Aimé Nthépé in 10.33 as pre-race favourite Ronald Pognon suffered from cramps and could only finish 7th in 11.14.

Vanessa Boslak confirmed her supremacy in the women’s Pole Vault with 4.40m ahead of Marie Poissonnier (4.30m) and New Zealand’s Melina Hamilton (4.20m).

The men’s Discus was won by Jean-Claude Retel with a throw of 60.77 while Mélina Robert-Michon took the women’s event unchallenged with 59.37m.

Christophe Epalle took the Hammer with 76.95m.

The women’s Triple Jump saw a close battle between Amy Zongo (13.77m) and Roselise Retel (13.74m), while a tactical men’s 5000m ended with Mokhtar Benhari’s victory (13:48.51) in front of his home crowd.