avant la NFL, Allen multiplie les efforts sur la piste

avant la NFL, Allen multiplie les efforts sur la piste

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Before returning to American football, Devon Allen has made the World Athletics Championships in Eugene (Oregon, July 15-24) his big goal. Four days after coming close to the world record for the 110m hurdles, the American went on to compete in the Diamond League in Oslo on Thursday, then Paris on Saturday.

When his three-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles was formalized in April, the 27-year-old sprinter summed up his battle plan in the local press: “the objective is to run at the Worlds, to win, to beat the world record, and when they are finished, to go on training the following weekwith Philadelphia.

Even if American football earned him two tears of the cruciate ligaments, in the right knee at the beginning of 2015, then in the left in September 2016, and that he has not played there since.

Am I able to regain my level or better yet, who knows? So far, I feel very good. It’s like cycling, you can’t forget it. When I play, I don’t really feel a difference with 2014 and 2016“, he explained in the spring to World Athletics.

In the meantime, Allen, in the elite of the 110m hurdles since 2016 but never yet mounted a world or Olympic podium, is keen to correct this anomaly, he who ranked fifth at the Rio Games and fourth – for four hundredths – to those in Tokyo last summer.

Without Warholm

At the very end of last season, the hurdler had reached a significant milestone, when he fell for the first time in his career under the bar of 13 seconds (12.99) in Zagreb. “I knew that I had in me (a time under 13 seconds, editor’s note), already during the Olympic preparation (…), but it had not happened, he recalls. I’m happy to have finally broken this barrier, now I can move on to my next goal: the world record and an international medal“.

In New York on Sunday, Allen approached very close to the first part: precisely four hundredths of the reference time established ten years ago by his compatriot Aries Merritt (12.80). His 12 sec 84 is the third fastest time in history over 110m hurdles. Only two men ran faster over the distance: Merritt, and reigning American world champion Grant Holloway (12.81).

Less than a month before the start of the Worlds (July 15-24) and a week before the American selections (June 23-26), also on the grounds of his university in Eugene, will he further accelerate to Oslo, despite the transatlantic trip?

Facing him in particular, the Jamaican Omar McLeod, 2016 Olympic champion, and the Frenchman Wilhem Belocian. Of the world record, Allen, then expected in Paris on Saturday, says in any case that he “don’t see him lasting much longer than this season“.

On the long distance version hurdles, on the other hand, an absence of mark: that of the Norwegian phenomenon Karsten Warholm, reigning Olympic champion and world record holder, victim of a muscular injury to the right thigh at the beginning of June in Rabat and whose participation at the Worlds in Eugene has since been uncertain.

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