LONDON, England (AFP) — Christophe Lemaitre, touted as Europe's biggest hope of breaking the Jamaican-US sprint hegemony, will likely not compete in the 100m at the Olympics, his coach told AFP last week.
The defending two-time European double sprint champion will only touch down in the British capital on August 4, the same day the heats for the 100m get underway.
"Christophe will arrive on August 4 so he won't be running the 100m," Pierre Carraz told AFP, adding however, that there remained a window of opportunity for the 22-year-old to compete in the blue riband event of track and field.
"We're sticking with the same idea that, if some of his rivals pull out, we'll register him for the 100m anyway and see if he can get here earlier."
A similar scenario occurred in last August's World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, when Lemaitre saw American Tyson Gay and Jamaican Asafa Powell pull out of the 100m through injury, while another Jamaican, Steve Mullings, was banned.
Lemaitre, the French record-holder in the 100m with a best of 9.92sec, went on to finish fourth in the world 100m and then claimed bronze in the 200m, his preferred event in which he has a much stronger chance of medalling.
The Frenchman will race the 200m and the 4x100m relay in London, and Carraz said his charge was in good shape.
"We've had a big week of training," Carraz said. "We went for quantity over quality. I feel he's in as good a shape as before Daegu."