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    Raffin hops, steps and jumps his way to a record

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    • Raffin hops, steps and jumps his way to a record

    On Saturday in Aubière, 18-year-old triple jumper Melvin Raffin of France produced the performance of his life as he smashed Teddy Tamgho's national under-20 indoor record with a leap of 17.04m.

    And it was not just a new record distance by the odd centimetre or two.

    Raffin won bronze at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships last July and he broke Tamgho's distance by 10 centimetres. He was only another 10 centimetres away from the world under-20 held by East German Volker Mai which has stood for almost 32 years.


    When he made the podium in Bydgoszcz last summer, Raffin did so with a distance of 16.37m and could now mark a concerted effort to be among those challenging for a medal at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade next March.

    His previous lifetime best was 16.47m, he did jump a wind-assisted 16.93m last summer but breaking 17 metres is such a key barrier. It makes the rest wake up and take notice…and Raffin has surely achieved that with his stunning performance this weekend.

    He is quite a talent and at this Meeting des Volcans, he also ran 6.86m for the 60m.

    Spain's Ilias Fifa had a 2016 to remember, topped by winning 5000m gold at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam (13:40.85), and on Sunday he produced another fine run at the Cross Internacional Zornotza in Amorebieta.

    Over 10.7km at this European Athletics Cross Country Permit meeting, Fifa was the leading European as he finished third in 33:01 behind Eritrea’s Nguse Amlosom (32:52) and Kenya's Jairus Birech (32:55).

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    Next after Fifa were his Spanish teammates Ayad Lamdassem (33:05) and Antonio Abadia (33:11), who were fourth and fifth respectively, with former European 5000m champion Jesus Espana in seventh (33:30).

    The women's race was over 8.7km and Great Britain's Jess Martin (nee Andrews) achieved one of the best wins of her career as she triumphed in 30:25 ahead of leading Spaniard Trihas Gebre (30:50).

    Back to the track and in Rud, Helene Ronningen, 18, broke the Norwegian indoor senior 200m record with 23.57 at the Tyrving Indoor Games.

    And in Chemnitz, Germany’s Franziska Hofmannran ran 8.25 to win the 60m hurdles ahead of the Czech Republic’s 400m hurdles star Zuzana Hejnova in 8.33, who also achieved 7.66m for the 60m, while European triple jump champion Max Hess, the male European Athletics Rising Star of 2016, reached 7.66m in the long jump and ran 7.07 in the 60m heats before sitting out the final.