À l'occasion de la première journée des Championnats de France de cross-country, le relais mixte a sacré le Clermont Athlétisme Auvergne devant le Racing Multi Athlon, chez les toutes catégories, et le GAP Hautes Alpes Athlétisme, chez les juniors, ce samedi aux Mureaux (Yvelines).

Success for Clermont Athlétisme Auvergne in the mixed relay

On the first day of the French Cross-Country Championships, the mixed relay crowned Clermont Athletics Auvergne ahead of Racing Multi Athlon, in all categories, and GAP Hautes Alpes Athletics, in juniors, this Saturday in Les Mureaux (Yvelines).

Integrated into the program of the French Cross-Country Championships in Montauban last November, the mixed relay gave rise to a superb duel between Clermont Athlétisme Auvergne (19’30) and Racing Multi Athlon (19’37), favorites advertised bookmakers. Both teams had lined up an impressive quartet and which turned in favor of the Auvergne club. Contrary to what can be seen during relays in athletics on the track, there is no passing of the baton but that of an armband. Each athlete ran 1575m before passing the armband to their teammate. As a reminder, the teams are not decision makers in the choice of its formula. The order of departures is imposed according to the years: One man, one woman, one man, one woman in 2022 (it will be woman, man, woman, man in odd years).

The Clermontois Gatien Airiau (8’27″27 over 3000m steeplechase in 2020) who had the responsibility of digging the biggest possible lead on the first stint, escaped at the end of his course, taking a good fifteen seconds ahead of his first pursuers. Enough to pass the armband largely in the lead to his teammate Faustine Chabochewhich will be taken up in the last hectometres of the second relay by Johanna Geyer-Carles (4’10″38 over 1500m in 2017) of the RMA. And here is the long-awaited moment. A match within a match, the duel between Alexis Phelut (CAA), twelfth in the 3000m steeplechase final at the Tokyo Olympics and Mahiedine Mekhissi (RMA), triple Olympic medalist in the 3000m steeplechase. Symbol of old and new generation. The two tricolor half-founders did not leave each other of a sole during all their race. Not stingy in the effort, they definitely succeeded in take down all the competing teams whose Decines Meyzieu Athletics (20’00), third this Saturday. At the time of the last passage, the two French steeplers stand in a pocket handkerchief. ” We were expecting a good fight, but from there it was so close… We did the last two stints shoulder to shoulder. We really wanted to win. We’re all buddies. Winning this title together is beautiful “, welcomes Alexis Phelut at the microphone of the FFAwho will be at the start of the cross court tomorrow.

Ssurprise, the Parisian club had decided to finish with very heavy, with on track the triple European silver medalist in the 800m Renelle Lamote. Por his first race since Tokyo, “Réré” launched all his forces in the last stint of the RMA. At the start of the home stretch Julia Ravetwho had kept some underfoot, snatched victory for Clermont Athlétisme Auvergne at the end of an epic finish with Lamote. ” Rénelle is an athlete that we all admire and that we see at major championships. But I believed it, enthuses Julia Ravet. I told myself that I would try to stay behind as long as possible. I was better than her on the descents. I managed to pass it. At ¾ of the race, I had a slack, Rénelle passed, started to widen the gap, especially in the sand, I really lost my balance. Then I saw that she was starting to crack. I gave everything I had. We know the qualities of Clermont Athlétisme Auvergne in cross country. We wanted to honor our club. We all believed in it until the end. We tried and it happened “. Two titles were awarded this Saturday. That of the under 20s (cadets to juniors) was won by the GAP Hautes Alpes Athletics.

See you tomorrow at 9 a.m. for the individual races at Les Mureaux!

All the results, in click here.

Photo credits: Antoine Decottignies / STADION
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