Cyréna Samba-Mayela, world vice-champion in the 60 meter hurdles at the Glasgow World Championships

His indoor world title in March 2022 in Belgrade could only have remained a beautiful winter story. Landing on the international athletics scene like an almost unknown comet, before disappearing for two years, hurdler Cyréna Samba-Mayela returns with a bang.

Sunday March 3, during the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow (Scotland) – a championship which was successful for her – the 23-year-old Frenchwoman confirmed that she had nothing of the accidental discovery. In the absence of big names in the discipline like the Nigerian Tobi Amusan, the Americans Tia Jones and Jasmine Jones, as well as the Jamaican Danielle Williams – she took the silver medal in 7 s 74, behind the Bahamian Devynne Charlton – who at the same time beats his own world record (7 s 65). Third place went to the Polish Pia Skrzyszowska.

“I felt really good. I’m really happy to be there and it has a lot of effect because it allows you to have such a free mind.reacted the Frenchwoman after the final. I was able to take even more marks. Especially since originally, I wasn’t even supposed to do an indoor season. »

Propelled among the headliners of French athletics lacking results since the Tokyo Games, Cyréna Samba-Mayela had suffered a few disappointments, notably an elimination from the series during the 2022 World Championships in Eugene (Ohio), a disappointment in semi-finals of the 2023 World Championships in Budapest and the European Indoor Championships last year.

Four months ago, the young woman made the decision to change everything. She left the multidisciplinary training group of Teddy Tamgho, former indoor world record holder in the triple jump. Direction the Sunshine State, Florida, where she joined Irish coach John Coghlan in Orlando. There she meets, among others, the reigning Olympic champion in the 100m hurdles, the Puerto Rican Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, who abandons the winter season and is worth 12.26 over the Olympic distance.

His new coach accompanied him during these championships: “It was more reassuring to have support from the person I worked with this season. We talked about everything and nothing during that day. He was very optimistic that these championships would go well”she confided.

Two days before entering the fray in Scotland, Cyréna Samba-Mayela showed her satisfaction with this new start: “I was super excited when I woke up this morning. I’m so happy to be back competing after all these changes and to be able to test everything I learned this winter. »

French record broken

In February, returning from the United States, she won during the French indoor championships in Miramas (Bouches-du-Rhône). And she forcefully displayed her ambition: “defend your world title. » A daring bet in a booming discipline, when two runners had achieved, in quick succession, the world record (7 s 67) – beaten this Sunday: on February 11, by the Bahamian Devynne Charlton, then on February 16 by the American Tia Jones.


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Sunday morning, Cyréna Samba-Mayela improved her best time of the season for the first time of the day in 7 s 81. In the semi-final, she confirmed her great form, flying through her race in 7 s 73, lowering the time by five hundredths. national reference. “I took the time to stay focused after the French record. I listened to my music, I kept my mood super cheerful”she explained.

The duel with Devynne Charlton then loomed for the final. Thanks to a great start, the Bahamian crushed the race by improving the world record. Without demeriting with the second time of her career, Samba-Mayela can be delighted with her championships. “ It was magical. It reminded me of two years ago in Belgrade. Let’s continue, it’s preparation for summer. I still have progress to make. I started my season in 8.18.”. Cyréna Samba-Mayela can now focus on the transition to the 100m hurdles and the summer season which will culminate with the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

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