Feature29 May 2024

Sasha Zhoya: homecoming


Sasha Zhoya in action in Budapest (© Getty Images)

French 110m hurdles specialist Sasha Zhoya has big ambitions ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. 

After becoming the 2021 world U20 champion and finishing sixth at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, the rising star tells World Athletics Inside Track how his determination and motivation will see him through this Olympic year and beyond, as he eyes the world record.

Click the thumbnail to watch:Sasha Zhoya


“Before the race, I’m only telling myself one thing – that I’m the most dominant and I’m going to win this race,” says the 21-year-old, who has a background in ballet and music.

“I motivate myself, I almost lie to myself, and tell myself that I’m the best.”

After setting a world U20 record of 12.72 over the U20 height hurdles when winning his global age group title in Nairobi three years ago, Zhoya now has his sights on another time target.

“I think Aries Merritt’s record (the senior world 110m hurdles record of 12.80) is on the verge of getting broken,” he says. “You’ve got Grant (Holloway) who ran 12.81, Devon Allen ran 12.84, so it shows that the guys are capable of running close to that time. Myself, I feel like because in the junior hurdles I ran a 12.72, it’s possible to go under 12.80. Who is going to be the first person to do it? That’s up for grabs but I’m no longer visioning to do 12.80, I’m visioning to go under that.

“Now that I’m on the world stage and especially that now that I’m not No.1, as I was in the juniors, there’s more hunger in me to get up to that level that I was before. 

“I want to be the gold medallist at my own home Games.”

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