Wilfried Happio Wins French Hurdles Title After Being Assaulted During Warm-Ups

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 28, 2022

France's Wilfried Happio wears a bandage after being assaulted at the warm-up stage   during in the mens 400 metre hurdles final during the French Elite Athletics Championships at the Helitas stadium in Caen, northern France, on June 25, 2022. (Photo by Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP) (Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images)
SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images

Wilfried Happio was crowned the champion in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2022 French Athletics Championships on Saturday, but what happened before the race may have been more notable.

The 23-year-old was assaulted while warming up, per USA Today's Analis Bailey. French outlet RMC Sport (via Max Mathews of the Daily Mail) reported he was coughing up blood as a result of the attack.

Wearing a bandage over his left eye after the assault, Happio coasted to victory in the event and finished more than a second ahead of runner-up Ludvy Vaillant. His time of 48.57 seconds was a personal best.

FFAthlétisme @FFAthletisme

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"I don't want to dwell on it," Happio said of the situation (via Bailey). “We'll leave that to the competent people. To talk about the race, we worked a lot, we redid the music and that's it. The feelings were good. I'm glad I did this time. Physically I'm fine."

Happio can now race in the 2022 World Athletics Championships, which get underway July 15 in Eugene, Oregon.