Carolina Kluft, white super athlete

Discussion in 'Track & Field' started by highschoolcoach, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. highschoolcoach

    highschoolcoach Guru

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    She's doing something I like a lot, taking on the black super-athletes at their strengths, rather than doing a "white event" and avoiding them:

    Sweden's Carolina Klüft, the world's greatest all-round athlete, has decided not to defend her Olympic Heptathlon title in Beijing in order to look for new challenges in the Long and Triple Jump.

    Though the decision had been hinted at on many occasions in the course of the winter, Klüft decided early this year that she would make a definite decision today 19 March.

    The news is sure to give renewed hope to her closest rivals, Lyudmila Blonska (UKR) and Kelly Sotherton (GBR) amongst others, who will now see the way clear to fight over Olympic gold.

    Explaining her decision to local Swedish newspaper Smalandsposten, Klüft said: "I've done the Heptathlon for a number of years. I really want to try something new. I want to focus on one or two other events. I want to feel fit in my body and not be exhausted week in and week out."

    But will she not miss the event she has excelled in so much? "Both yes and no," answered Klüft. "I have always loved the heptathlon. Maybe I'll try it again in a few years, but right now I don't have the motivation for Heptathlon necessary for competing at the top level. That's why the decision was simple."

    No one is underestimating the task ahead, least of all Klüft. Though she has respectable long jump marks indoors and out, 6.92 and 6.97 respectively, the event has only brought her the relatively meagre reward of an IAAF World Indoor bronze and a fifth on the world outdoor lists. What are her aims for the event?

    "The Long Jump is going to be my main event. I hope to go over 7m and then we'll see. But I need another event to give me variety in training and to have another challenge."

    Klüft's longest triple jump in competition is 14.02m, not a distance that will keep the elite awake at night, though there have been rumours of her jumping much further in training. "On the other hand I have never given my full attention to the triple jump. It's a difficult event, but great fun. I'm really looking forward to training properly for it," she said.

    It is assumed that with this decision, Klüft is sacrificing a certain second Olympic gold medal, but it is not the medals that Klüft is thinking about, but her enjoyment of sport: "Yes (I have made the right decision). Enjoyment is important for me and I already feel that concentrating on the long and triple jump is going to be really enjoyable. Apart from that it's going to be really nice to have less media attention on me."
     

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