For his first links in the big leagues, Jules Pommery had an eventful evening: first deprived of a medal in extremis, the long jumper finally won bronze after a complaint at the European Athletics Championships on Tuesday in Munich (Germany). “I got so used to (the idea of) fourth place that I’m not jumping for joy. I think I’ll live it tomorrow (Wednesday) on the podium, admits Pommery. I didn’t have my turn to track with the flag, but I’d rather have the medal than do a lap and not have it afterwards.”
For a time during the competition, the 21-year-old athlete 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 attempt. The second only of his young career above 8 meters, after the one with which he 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 as far as him. Exactly as far as Briton Jacob Fincham-Dukes as well. In the game for 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 record for the European Championships. This was without counting on a double claim, posed by both France and Sweden, who both considered that the best link of Fincham-Dukes was bitten. “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 (French athletics) federation appealed and the appeal judge will review the images and decide. I am hopeful”, 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 the young Frenchman on the third. A final British appeal rejected later in the evening, and the podium was confirmed. How did he handle the wait? “By eating sweets”, smiles Pommery.
Three years after his European title in juniors, he thus invites himself on 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’m not injured, I’m able to show myself in big competitions. It’s great to encourage for the next seasons”, appreciates Pommery.
“In the world ranking, I will pick up a bunch of points which will serve me for Budapest (host city of the Worlds-2023, editor’s note) and in the logical continuation for the Games” of Paris-2024, he projects. For the French team, whose results have been 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, this first medal offered by Pommery is a bright spot. appreciable.
Especially since the young jumper, who trains at Insep under the direction of the Armenian Robert Emmiyan – still holder of the European record for the specialty -, is one of the faces of the 2024 generation of the French athletics. “It will launch me for the coming season, it will I hope to launch the France team, I hope that there will still be many more and more beautiful ones”, wants to believe Pommery. “Of course I came here to win, but the main goal, the goal of a career, is still the Games in two years with us, he prioritizes. The choice, if I have to do 8.50 m at the Games or 8.50 m there, it’s fine, I’ll wait…”