The Italian high jump star Gianmarco Tamberi returns to Ostrava for the third time to try to win his first crystal trophy. The Tokyo Olympic champion always likes to return to the Czech Republic and hopes for a huge support from the fans. Former world indoor and European champion has his fourth outdoor competitions in 2022 with season best of 225 which he isn’t satisfied with and will be try to improve in Ostrava to have more confidence preparing to the World Championships in Oregon.
On his expectation in Ostrava
I started the current summer season a bit earlier, but I wasn’t satisfied with the results. I couldn’t jump as high as I was ready for because of weather conditions. I could improve a bit at the Birmingham Diamond League, but I really want to add some more centimetres to my season best here in Ostrava. Of course, we’re preparing for the World Championships as the main event of this year. In this tough competitions’ schedule, I have one of the most important events for me this summer (Golden Gala), and it would be great to arrive there with some really good jumps. That is why tomorrow is going to be very important to me.
On season plans
We plan to perform at both main competitions this year: World and European Championships. I’ll lie if I said I’m deeply focused at Europeans as World championships is main goal in my mind. That is only gold medal I miss in my collection for now. I’ll do all possible things to get to the Oregon in the kind to condition to fight for gold medal there. Some guys already jumped high, like Korean one and Mutaz, and I’m sure they would like to fight for the same medal. It gonna be fun.
On why 2.30m is still too strong result in men’s high jump this season
I think it’s too early to show really strong results. We had a very long and very tough last season. I think, in very close time we’ll see many more athletes clearing 230, and I’m going to be among them. If the conditions are good, it could happen tomorrow. As we know, the Czech athletics crowd is always great and I expect they will push us a lot.
On importance of the crowd support
I really need the energy of the crowd because last year it was very difficult to compete with having no spectators in the stadium. Of course, finally, we were able to understand how to do it. But as soon as they came back, I can feel the magic they give me. So, I’m looking forward to meet spectators on the track tomorrow, to feel their energy and to jump for them, because that is the magic of the sport. I like to do what I’m doing because they’re there. I like to compete in Czech Republic as I know this country very well. We used to do many high jump competitions here. I always feel here that people like what they’re watching. That is always very special for me.
On turning 30 on June 1
Turning 30, I’m still feeling young. Maybe, I became more experienced and wiser. I don’t think about any celebration or some kind of party. Right now, I really focused on the competitions only and I don’t want to lose focus because of my Birthday.
The women’s 400m hurdles Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist and European record holder (52.03) Femke Bol kicks off her outdoor season in Ostrava over untraditional distance. The 400m European indoor champion and world indoor silver medallist from Netherland already clocked 38.55 PB over 300m hurdles when won the event at Golden Spike in September 2020. Since that the best European hurdler improved a lot over flat 400m as well as 400m hurdles. Will she manage to go under the all-time world best result of 38.16 that was clocked by Czech legend Zuzana Hejnova in Cheb almost nine years ago?
On her expectations in Ostrava
I am really excited to finally start the season. It took me a bit longer this time. But it is nice to start over the 300m distance, not on the 400m, so I am very excited. It is going to be a busy but really nice season.
On her planning of the competition schedule
Comparing to the last season, I take it a bit easier this year. Just a couple of races before the worlds and still I have a couple races to do after the world championships, so we do not do too much. The 400m hurdles are also a bit technical event, so you can see the best how it works in action. So the competitions are the best test to see it.
On the fast times coming this season
Sure there will be some fast times later on. We have great people in the field and in Eugene we will peak.
On running 300m in Ostrava, where Zuzana Hejnova is a home star and the WL holder
Of course, I would like to go that fast. But it is just the first race so we will see. It is a really good time. I will try my best and would try to get as close as possible.
I know Zuzana, she is a great athlete. Once, I could not sleep before the competition and watched her videos. I think I would love to run against her here for the last time.
On having spectators on stands
Of course they play a role. It will be something neww for me. I remember, 2 years ago in Ostrava, just a small crowd was allowed on the stand, and I am looking forward to it and it will be amazing with the crowd now.
On the WR on hurdles
When we were younger, we thought – OK, the 52 would be possible one day. Now they run 51 and it is amazing to see what is possible and it is great to be a part of it. I hope more people will try hurdles and now it is a special time with so many people running so fast but I hope it will continue like this.
Photo: Pavel Lebeda/sport-pics.cz
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