by Steven Downes
27 July 2010
The news from the French team on the first morning of the European championships in Barcelona is that Christophe Lemaitre, their “Great White Hope” for the 100 metres, has an adductor strain.
That could hamper the 20-year-old in Wednesday's semis and finals of the 100m, when he is likely to come up against the Evens favourite for the title, Britain’s Dwain Chambers.
But the injury is also thought to be a serious problem for Lemaitre’s hopes over 200m later in the week.
The first round of the 100m is tonight just after 6pm UK time.
Other news from the French team is of the fitness of Teddy Tamgho for the triple jump.
The bookies’ early odds-on favourite for the gold, Tamgho suffered a horrendous calf and hamstring injury at the French championships.
But he has told French journalists in Barcelona that he is fit and ready to jump “dix huit” – 18 metres.
We shall see – we get to see the triple jumpers, including Britain’s world champion, Phillips Idowu, in action in qualifying tonight from just after 7pm (UK time).
Tonight’s big final, the men’s 10,000m, has seen all the money going on to the slender shoulders of Mo Farah, of Britain.
Farah is now a best price of odds on 1-2 favourite with Victor Chandler and Bet365 – horribly short for such a tough race, over 25 laps or more than 6 miles in what is likely to be steamy heat. By mid-morning, it was 29 degrees in the Mont Juic Stadium.
Even Farah sounds a cautionary note when explaining how his No1 ranking in Europe this season, with his sub-27min 30sec clocking in a one-off race in cooler conditions earlier in the summer, carries less relevance tonight.
“It’s not about ranks, it’s not about times,” he said. “It’s about performance on the day and covering every angle and using the right tactics.”