Wednesday 26 June 2019

Watch: Athlete Jimmy Gressier falls flat with face-first finish

A cross country runner’s attempt at an audacious finish went horribly wrong and saw him break the tape with his face – but he still won.

Athletes at the finish line of the 2009 Flora London Marathon (Sean Dempsey/PA)
Athletes at the finish line of the 2009 Flora London Marathon (Sean Dempsey/PA)

By Stephen Jones, Press Association Social Media Editor

A cross country runner was left blushing after an attempt at an audacious finish went spectacularly wrong and left him face down in the mud.

French athlete Jimmy Gressier was some way ahead of his rivals as he approached the finish line in the men’s under-23 European Cross County Championships in Tilburg, Netherlands.

8299 metres = Perfect ✅ The final one = 🙈🙈🙈 A golden moment from FFA - Fédération Française d'Athlétisme's Jimmy Gressier as he finished his victorious U23 men's race! #Tilburg2018

Posted by European Athletics on Sunday, December 9, 2018

Unfortunately, Gressier, who was defending his title from the previous year, didn’t manage to complete the final metre in the style he was hoping, as an attempted knee slide saw him pass through the tape face first.

Speaking after his victory, Gressier, 21, said: “I am just very happy to win for the second time. The conditions were difficult but the course was still really nice despite the weather.”

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