Sometimes things don't quite go as smoothly as planned.

After front-running the European U23 cross country championship, Jimmy Gressier attempted to defend his title in style before things went embarrassingly wrong.

Grabbing two French flags from spectators along the course, the Frenchman launched himself forward in an attempt to knee slide over the finish line.

But Gressier's knees tripped just behind the line before the two-time champion face planted into the mud taking the ribbon with him.

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Seeing the funny side to it all, Gressier was still smiling as he lay in the mud after finishing the course in an impressive time of 23:37.

The footage posted by European Athletics has since circulated social media and has been retweeted more than four hundred times.