Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk on the way to victory in the Hammer (© Getty Images)
Anita Wlodarcyzk provided the highlight of the fourth day of the Francophone Games when she decimated the championship record with a throw 75.62m in Nice on Friday (13).
The Pole consigned to history France’s Manuela Montebrun’s mark of 70.26m, set four years ago at the last edition of the games in Beirut, with her first toss of 71.25m before improving further in the second round with 73.24m.
The former World record-holder and 2013 World silver medallist then sent her implement out to 75.62m before finishing with three fouls in an effort to put a really big distance on the scoreboard.
Romania’s former World youth and junior champion Bianca Perie was a distant second with 70.41m, which was also farther than the old record.
Burundi’s US-based Diane Nukuri-Johnson took the women’s 10,000m title in a championship record 32:29.14, taking more than a minute off the old mark of Morocco’s Zhor El Kamch, which had stood at 33:41.28 since 2005.
In fact, the first four runners home in the sparse six-woman field were inside the old record, with the silver medal going to Morocco’s Khadiha Sammah with 32:38.42.
Valentin Lavillenie adds to the family gold reserves
France’s Valentin Lavillenie got his first major championship gold medal, although he has quite a few to make up on his older brother and Olympic champion Renaud, when he was the only man over 5.50m before unsuccessfully trying to equal his outdoor best and meeting record of 5.65m.
Another victory in the men’s field events went to France in the Triple Jump thanks to Yoann Rapinier bounding out to 17.11m with his last effort, just four centimetres short of the meeting record.
Rapinier jumped 16.85m with his second effort, which gave him a healthy lead after two rounds, but then he saw his compatriot Gaetan Saku Bafuanga then reach 16.90m in the third round.
After a pass and a foul, Rapinier got back in front with his 16.96m leap in the fifth round. Saku Bafuanga couldn’t top that with his fifth-round jump of 16.33m.
Rapinier then uncorked his 17.11m with the penultimate attempt and although his domestic rival improved to 16.93m with the very last jump of the entertaining competition, the gold medal went to the 2013 IAAF World Championships finallist.
Belgium’s Anne Zagre, the 2009 European junior champion who holds her 100m Hurdles national record with 12.79, was able to coast to a comfortable win in 13.41.
Auzeil dominates the Decathlon
France’s Bastien Auzeil held the Decathlon joint lead overnight with Montenegro’s Darko Pesic, the pair tied on 4019 points, but the former soon stamped his authority on the event on the second day.
Auzeil, the only man in the competition to have a season's best of more than 8000 points, sped to victory in the 110m Hurdles in 14.66 to take the overall lead and he never relinquished pole position after that.
He also came out on top in the Discus with 42.04m and then equalled his outdoor best of 5.10m in the Pole Vault, 40cm higher than anyone else could manage.
A more modest Javelin effort of 54.04m didn’t derail his gold medal-winning effort and he had a lead of 278 points over Pesic going into the final event, giving him the luxury of being able to ease round the 1500m in 4:55.94 and, despite bringing up the rear by more than 10 seconds in the final event, he finished with a total of 7789 points.
Pesic took the silver medal with 7636 points, improving on his own national record.
Canada’s Oluwasegun Wasinde was the fastest man of the three 200m heats in 20.90, with all the races being run into a stiff breeze. His compatriot Crystal Emmanuel, with the women facing similar conditions in their two 200m semi-finals run just a few minutes before, was the quickest in 23.55.
France’s Yoann Decimus took the honours of being the fastest man in the 400m Hurdles semi-finals in 50.07, but with only three men eliminated ahead of Saturday’s final, most of the top runners didn’t need to hit top gear.
In similar fashion, the top men’s 1500m runners were able to hold something back for the final with the fastest man Tunisia’s Ben Othmen Zied with 3:46.03; although favourites Morocco’s Mohamed Moustaoui and Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman looked as though they were barely out of breath as they also qualified with ease.
Morocco’s Malika Akkaoui was the fastest woman in the 800m heats in 2:04.65.
The final day on Saturday sees no less than 15 gold medals being decided.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF