18 August, 2019

Bedrani - Miellet: the revival of French middle-distance running

The history of the Meeting de Paris abounds in sublime performances in the middle-distance races. Among the French contingent, the latest of these have taken place in the 3,000m steeplechase with European records for Bouabdellah Tahri in 2003 (8’06’’91) and Mahiedine Mekhissi in 2013 (8’00’’09). Since then, the French athletes have stayed out of the spotlight.

With Djilali Bedrani and Alexis Miellet, progressing well this summer, the Gallic middle-distance competition might well be at a turning point with some fine performances on the cards at the Charléty Stadium.

The former is the worthy heir to Tahri and Mekhissi: French champion of the cross-country (short distance) some two years ago and French champion of the 3,000m steeplechase in Saint Etienne back in July, he excelled at the Diamond League leg in Monaco. At the Herculis meeting, he completed the race in 8’09’’47, secured the level of performance required for the Worlds in Doha and has bagged France’s fourth best performance (behind Mekhissi, Tahri and Joseph Mahmoud).

During the competition in Monaco, Bedrani wasn’t the only athlete to get his ticket punched for the Worlds in Qatar. Alexis Miellet, double champion of France in the 1,500m and silver medallist at the World University Games in Taipei in 2018, smashed his personal best in the 1,500m by running a time of 3’34’’23 in a very hotly contested race. And this isn’t the Frenchman’s first attempt since a month earlier, he improved on his personal best in the 800m in Montreuil (1’46’’70), before upping the pace again in early July at the meeting in Marseille (1’45’’88). Both of them are competing in their favourite races at the Meeting de Paris. The perfect opportunity to put themselves to the test before participating in their first Worlds in Doha.