France’s main success in recent years has come from their dominance in the men’s pole vault, mainly thanks to the contributions of Renaud Lavillenie.

The 31-year-old burst onto the scene of Athletics in 2009 when he broke Jean Galfione’s 10-year French outdoor record as he cleared 5.80m in Turin, following that up by breaking his 12-year indoor record in 2011 with 6.03m, the third highest clearance of all time.

In-between that, he was crowned the inaugural IAAF Diamond League pole vault winner in 2010 but went one better by claiming the indoor world record in 2014, successfully achieving a height of 6.16m in Donetsk.

One of their more experienced members of the squad is women’s discus thrower Mélina Robert-Michon, who has not finished an outdoor season having not thrown one of the furthest 50 distances since 2013.

She was the only woman to medal for the nation at the World Championships last year as she claimed bronze with a season’s best of 66.21m.

On the track, sprinter Carolle Zahi is making her presence felt and looks like being one of their next big stars having put in a good showing at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, while fellow sprinter Jimmy Vicaut is the joint-quickest European in history over 100m, his time of 9.86 alongside 2004 Olympic silver medallist Francis Obikwelu.

He is only the third French man in history to have broken the 10-second barrier outdoors, doing so in 2013, and looks like he could continue to pose a threat to some of the more established names in the sport.

Another name to keep an eye on is 800m runner Pierre-Ambroise Bosse, who claimed a surprise world title in London in 2017 bouncing back from missing out on an Olympic bronze medal by less than half a second in 2016 , despite winning his heat and semi-final.

Did you know?

Renaud Lavillenie is the only Frenchman in history to have jumped over six metres in the pole vault.

Facts from IAAF World Championships London 2017

Medals Won




Participating Athletes


Nations Website