He will have just turned 36 but a familiar name could be on the start-list when the competitors are announced for the pole vault at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Göteborg in March.

It is more than four years since Dutchman Rens Blom has been retired from the sport. But now he is ready to return – so he can bow out in style.

In 2008, the former world champion announced he was quitting competing because his body could no longer take the strains after injuries and operations.

Since then he has been National pole vault coach in the Netherlands and has been the guru to Robbert-Jan Jansen. He is also a member of European Athletics Athletes’ Commission.

But speaking to Atletiek Week, Blom revealed he will now train along with Jansen to revive a career that reached its greatest height with victory at the IAAF World Championships in Helsinki in 2005.

He could not defend that title in 2007 because of a torn Achilles tendon and then failed to make the Olympic Games in Beijing 12 months later.

He said: “You know what you do hurts, but try it anyway. I wanted to, but my body did not cooperate.

“This time I want to close all right.”

Blom is one of the Netherlands’ greatest track and field athletes and his credentials speak for themselves.

A multiple national champion indoors and out, when he triumphed in Helsinki he became the first Dutch athlete to win a world athletics title.

His victory in Finland came with a clearance of 5.80m as he beat Brad Walker, of the USA, with 5.75m and Russia’s Pavel Gerasimov with 5.65m.

It had quite an impact on him and when he returned home, Amsterdam airport was packed with fans.

He said: “I was the first world champion in athletics for the Netherlands and they treated this as if the Netherlands just won the World Cup in soccer.

“The whole airport was orange coloured, and I was really shocked to see all these people waiting for me. I felt really honoured.”

He had broken the Dutch national record in 2004 with a vault of 5.81m but after his glory in Helsinki, injuries started to set in.

Blom could not defend his world crown in Osaka and not being in Beijing meant he never made his mark at the Olympics after failing to make the final in Sydney in 2000 and finishing ninth in Athens in 2004.

But it was at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Ghent in 2000 where he won his first major senior medal with bronze. And who knows, in a few months time, he could be back at the same event, looking for a podium place again?

from: http://www.european-athletics.org/32nd-european-athletics-indoor-championships/11597-dutch-pole-vaulter-blom-could-make-a-comeback-in-goeteborg.html

Rens Blom
Rens Blom

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