For his first leaps into the big leagues, Jules Pommery had an eventful evening. First deprived of a medal in extremis, the long jumper finally inherited the bronze after being reclassified after a claim at the European Athletics Championships on Tuesday in Munich.
A time during the competition, Pommery (21) was in a position to climb on the third step of the podium, thanks to a leap to 8.06 m made on the fourth try. The second only of his young career above 8 meters, after the one with which he had brought his personal best to 8.17 m at the end of May. But he was ejected on the sixth and final jump when Sweden’s Thobias Montler jumped exactly as far as him.
Exactly as far as Briton Jacob Fincham-Dukes as well. But in the game of the second best try, it was Fincham-Dukes, with 7.97m, who won the silver medal and Montler, with 7.95m, the bronze. That of Pommery was measured at 7.85 m. Far ahead, the reigning Olympic champion, the Greek Miltiadis Tentoglou, won with 8.52 m, a European championship record. But that was without counting on a double claim, posed by both France and Sweden, who both considered that Fincham-Dukes’ best leap was bitten.
Thirty minutes of patience then deliverance
“I asked on the advice of the staff to have the image checked on the computer by the lead judge of the competition at the end. According to him, it was not bitten. The federation (French athletics) appealed and the appeal judge will review the images and decide. I have good hopes,” explained Pommery while awaiting the decision. Thirty minutes later, the French and Swedish camps obtained satisfaction. So much so that Montler was on the second step of the podium and Pommery on the third.
A final twist was not excluded, however, the British management having appealed this decision, without the outcome being known at the end of the evening. Three years after his European title in juniors, Pommery thus invites himself to the senior continental podium from his first appearance.
“I learned, I did big competitions, it was my fourteenth of the season which started at the end of April. I am not injured, I am able to show myself in big competitions. It’s super encouraging for the coming seasons, ”appreciates the young athlete. “In the world rankings, I’m going to pick up a bunch of points that will serve me for Budapest [ville hôte des Mondiaux 2023] and in the logical continuation for the Games” of Paris 2024, he projects.
An appreciable thinning for the French team, with results at half mast for several years and weakened on entering Bavaria by the abandonment of the recent decathlon world champion Kevin Mayer from the first event on Monday morning.
Especially since Pommery, who trains at Insep under the direction of Robert Emmiyan – still holder of the European record for the specialty – is one of the faces of the 2024 generation of French athletics. “Of course I came here to win, but the main objective, the goal of a career, is still the Games in two years with us, he prioritizes. It’s up to you, if I do 8.50 m at the Games or 8.50 m there, that’s fine, I’ll wait…”.
“The atmosphere was incredible. There were no Germans (in the competition) but it was just like, remembers Pommery from his first experience in a major senior championship. It’s mythical and inevitably it makes you want to do athletics every day here. “Especially when you climb on a first international podium.