Germany’s Silke Spiegelburg has been talking about what she expects to encounter in the pole vault final at the London Olympic Games.
“It is going to be very, very exciting,” the German record holder told Leichtathletik.de.
“There is a bigger spread of vaulters at the top now than there were four or eight years ago, but we all know each other and it is not something I am worried about.
“It is form on the day that will decide and I am assuming it will take between 4.90 and 5m to take gold.”
That is the kind of height only double Olympic champion, Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, is familiar with. But in the Monaco meeting where Spiegelburg set the new German record of 4.82m, the Russian failed to clear a height.
“It is not always easy for her. She carries this enormous burden with her, but she is of course still the big favourite,” was Spielgelburg’s emphatic answer. “She looked really fit in Monaco. Anything can happen in London, but one thing is certain, you will have to jump high [to get a medal].”
London will be the German’s third Olympics. How does it compare with other championships?
“I noticed in Beijing that you could not compare the Olympics with anything else. The focus is completely different compared to a World Championships. There is so much pressure and it is something you have to have experienced.”
Despite her setback post-Monaco when she pulled out of the Jockgrim meeting without taking a jump, Spiegelburg is one of the in-form favourites to challenge for the title. How did it feel to finally clear 4.80m in Monaco?
“I was simply happy that I had got it right because I have been so close before and had a lot of back luck. I couldn’t bear to hear the expression ‘bad luck’ anymore. Now I only feel relief.”
With the competition in Monaco already won with a height of 4.70m, Speigelburg elected to go straight to 4.82, a big increase.
“I had already jumped 4.76 this season so that height would not have given me anything different. Quite simply I wanted to try 4.80 and see how it felt. The fact that I was on my own [at that height], I would never have imagined. I expected at least Fabiana Murer, the reigning world champion from Brazil and Isinbayeva to be there with me. So not only did I win, but with a German record as well. Two bonuses!”