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A French sprinter is assaulted in the warm-up and 20 minutes later wins gold in the 400m hurdles bruised and with an eye patch

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Wilfried Happio, 23, finished with a time of 48 seconds and 57 hundredths, achieving a personal record, the fifth fastest time at the national level and qualifying for the XVIII World Championships in Athletics next month.

The French athlete Wilfried Happio won the gold medal in the 400m meters hurdles of the French Athletics Championships, held on Saturday in the city of Caen. Beyond the conquest of the podium and achieving a new personal best, Happio made headlines since he competed with one eye and badly injured because he had been violently attacked by a stranger about twenty minutes before.

The attacker entered the track during the warm-up and pounced on the sprinter, his coach, Olivier Vallaeys, told the newspaper L’Équipe, who was forced to intervene to stop the attack before the arrival of the Police. The assailant was arrested and it was found that he was wearing an organization bracelet that allowed him to access the event. The motives for the attack remain a mystery.

Happio received several blows to the face, was dazed and bruised, but decided to show up at the race with a makeshift bandage in the left eye and cotton in the nose. According to the French channel RCM Sport, before the start, was still coughing up blood and suffering from a nosebleed .

The champion, 23 years old, finished with a time of 48 seconds and 57 hundredths, achieving a personal record, the fifth best marks at the national level and the classification to the XVIII World Athletics Championships, to be held in Eugene (Oregon, USA) next month. Regarding the incident, Happio confessed that he did not want to stop to talk about it, but assured that he felt good and confessed that running with only one eye was complicated.

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