Wilfried Happio won gold in the 400m hurdles at the French Athletics Championships over the weekend.
The 23-year-old did so despite being assaulted shortly before the final. Wearing an eyepatch and headband over his eye, Happio stepped into his blocks, and incredibly ran a personal best time of 48.57. He finished more than a second ahead of runner-up Ludvy Vaillant at the Stade Helitas in Caen.
"There was a big incident in the warm-up. Someone jumped on him and hit him,” said Happio’s coach Olivier Vallaeys.
"Some guy came out of nowhere and asked him if he was Wilfried Happio and then jumped on him. I managed to hold him back.
"It was 20 minutes before the race, we were ready to go to the call area.
"We’re shocked. The guy was arrested and Wilfried is fine. But I’m speechless, it was pure aggression, it’s scandalous. These are the methods of a savage."
Happio said his run was "more complicated than normal because I only had one eye". His depth perception would obviously have been severely affected by having to wear an eyepatch.
The time also qualifies him to run at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon next month.
🔥 Minima pour les Mondiaux de Eugene !
🥇 Wilfried Happio (Lille Métropole Athlé) champion de France Elite du 400 m haies en 48''57 !
💪 Cinquième meilleur performeur 🇫🇷 de l'histoire !
💻 Suivez les #CFAthlé en DIRECT sur https://t.co/63xdTVtG50 et @lachainelequipe. pic.twitter.com/s4QTyk50iT
— FFAthlétisme (@FFAthletisme) June 25, 2022