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Wilfried Happio is ASSAULTED 20 minutes before his race but becomes national 400m hurdles champion

French athlete Wilfried Happio is ATTACKED just 20 minutes before his race and continues to ‘cough up blood’… but becomes sensational national champion 400m hurdles while wearing an eye patch

  • Wilfried Happio dramatically became French champion 400m hurdles
  • The 23-year-old was retired just 20 minutes before Saturday’s race in Caen. attacked
  • The Parisian would ‘cough up blood’ just before the race
  • But Happio declared himself fit and won the race in a personal best of 48.57

Wilfried Happio has sensationally won the French 400m Hurdles Championship despite being attacked in shocking scenes just 20 minutes earlier.

French athlete Happio, who was scheduled to compete in the national race in Caen on Saturday evening, was warming up when he was attacked.

Incredibly, the person made it past security and violently assaulted the 23-year-old track star, receiving several punches in the face.

Olivier Vallaeys, the athlete’s coach, was forced to intervene to block the attacker, before the police finally arrested them.

Happio was left battered and bruised, with French outlet RMC Sports reported that he was coughing up blood just before the race.

But he declared fit to compete – he took to the track with an eye patch held in place by a headband – and won it dramatically in a personal best of 48.57.

Wilfried Happio (above) has sensationally become French 400m hurdles champion

Wilfried Happio (above) has sensationally become French 400m hurdles champion

The 23-year-old was attacked just 20 minutes before the race, forcing him to wear an eye patch held in place by a headband - Happio then declared fit and won the race

The 23-year-old was attacked just 20 minutes before the race, forcing him to wear an eye patch held in place by a headband – Happio then declared fit and won the race

He said after the race: I don’t want to dwell on it. We leave that to the competent people. To talk about the race, we worked a lot, we remade the music and that’s it. The feelings were good. I’m glad I did it this time. Physically it’s okay.’

Coach Vallaeys adds: ‘During the warm-up there was a major incident. Someone jumped on him and hit him.

‘A man who came out of nowhere asked him if it was really him, Wilfried Happio, and threw himself at him. I strapped it up. It was 20 minutes before the race, we were ready to go to the call room. We are shocked. The man was arrested. Wilfried is doing well.

Happio, who went to hospital for further tests, roared with joy after winning a personal best of 48.57 - the Parisian will now compete in the July World Championships in Oregon

Happio, who went to hospital for further tests, roared with joy after winning a personal best of 48.57 – the Parisian will now compete in the July World Championships in Oregon

“But I’m speechless, it’s a mess. Pure aggression. It’s outrageous. These are barbaric methods.’

Parisian Happio – who went to the hospital for further tests – will now compete in the July World Championships in Oregon, United States. He previously raced at that level in 2019 and finished 33rd after crashing in the heats.

Le Parisien has filed a complaint with the French Athletics Federation and the city of Caen will file a complaint against the attacker on Sunday.

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