A story broke the monotony, Saturday June 25, of the French championships in Caen. Ile-de-France Wilfried Happio was crowned French champion in the 400m hurdles a few minutes after being attacked during the warm-up. He ran and crossed the finish line as the winner with a blindfold.
Assaulted twenty minutes before his race, the 400m hurdles runner Wilfried Happio was crowned French champion on Saturday June 25 in Caen with a blindfold, in a surreal atmosphere.
On this quiet afternoon in the rural Hélitas stadium in Caen, in completely normal weather (sunset, clouds, showers, cool temperatures), the hitherto lackluster performances of the French Championships had drowsed the public, before a crazy end of the day.
— the chain L’Équipe (@lachainelequipe) June 25, 2022
Black jersey and crooked black headband hiding a bandage over the left eye, 400m hurdles specialist Wilfried Happio flew over his race and immediately revealed his improbable preparation for the final. Twenty minutes earlier, the 23-year-old athlete had been attacked on the small warm-up track at Lycée Malherbe, 500 m from the Hélitas stadium.
“There was a big incident during the warm-up. Someone jumped on him and hit him,” Olivier Vallaeys, Happio’s coach and manager, told AFP and the daily L’Équipe. 400m, 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay for the French Athletics Federation (FFA).
“A guy who came out of nowhere asked him if it was him Wilfried Happio and threw himself on him. I belted him. It was 20 minutes before the race, we were ready to go to the room call. We are in shock. The guy has been arrested. Wilfried is fine. But I am speechless, it’s pure aggression. It’s scandalous. These are savage methods. “
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Happio immediately showed up in the mixed zone after his victory, his head bowed, in tears, his nose bleeding. “I don’t want to spread out on it, the case is in progress. To talk about the race, with one eye it’s more complicated. The sensations were good”, quickly commented on the semi-finalist of the last Tokyo Olympics.
The FFA confirmed “the attack by an individual arrested by the municipal police of Caen, which came very quickly because the city service was on site.” “The individual, who had access to the premises, has been identified. The municipal police investigation is ongoing.
The FFA and the city of Caen will file a complaint tomorrow morning,” a spokesperson for the organization told the media. A source close to the investigation also confirmed to AFP that there had been an arrest. .