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Galfione back in action


6 July 2000NiceFrench Olympic pole-vault champion Jean Galfione, who underwent surgery on a collapsed lung in May,
returns to action in Saturday's Grand Prix meet at Nice.

"Jean will be there at Nice," his trainer Maurice Houvion told AFP. "He'll only make one jump out of three or four as he obviously
lacks both physical fitness and technique." Houvion insisted that the crowd should not expect a great performance from the 1996 Olympic gold medallist.

Also lining up in Nice will be Sergey Bubka, who will be attempting to find his form after no-heighting in Wednesday's Lausanne Grand Prix, and Marie-José Pérec, who marked her return to competition with a second place showing at 22.71seconds in the 200m in Lausanne.

Bubka will make a final shot at a second Olympic gold in Sydney. Despite his six successive World Championship titles, the undisputed Tsar of the pole vault has only managed one success in the event at the Olympics, dating back to 1988.

Pérec will be running in the 400m in Nice at the start of her build-up to an attempt at a defence of her 1996 Olympic titles over the half-lap and one lap races in Sydney in September.

Victory in Sydney in the 400m would give Pérec her third consecutive Olympic title in this event, but the French athlete will face stiff competition, notably from Australia's Cathy Freeman competing in front of her home crowd.