Olympic heptathlon champion Natalia Dobrynska has recently won silver at the European Championships in Barcelona with a huge PB of 6778 points. She set personal bests in three out of seven events, and also repeated her best ever high jump at 1.86m. Now it’s time for celebration and getting ready for her final heptathlon of the season on 18-19 September in Talence.
“I am so happy right now that I even don’t know what to start with! You know, when I was running the lap of honour in the Olympic stadium in Barcelona, I was so happy, I even wanted to cry! You may say: it’s strange, she is the Olympic champion, and now she is celebrating a silver medal. But you know setting personal bests in three events out of seven is really something special!
“It means, I am definitely moving in the right direction. And so, gold medals are about to come.
My 24.23 200m PB is what pleased me the most. I’ve heard of course some talks in my country that Dobrynska is not that fast… And I was not just listening; I was working specifically on improving my speed. When I saw it was not in vain, I was delighted. My coach and husband Dmitry even said to me before the start: “Your main goal at this champs is to run 200 m!”
“What I liked in Barcelona, is that everything was close till the very last event. Usually in combined events, you know way before the final event who the winner is going to be. But there it was so unpredictable! To be honest, the main thing for me was not to run 800m in full speed. It is the hardest event, and when you are far enough not to give everything at 800m – this is really the best prize. Please, don’t think I am 100 percent serious now, of course I am not that lazy! But as we say in Ukraine, in every joke there is only a part of joke.
“Before the final 800m to be honest I was panicking. I wanted to believe that I was out fast, that I could go out and just easily jog there. But I know myself, I know that in the end I would never give up. I ran 800m at my maximum speed. I closed my eyes, and when I opened them, I saw another PB – 2:12.06! Silver medal!
“Actually, what we had in Barcelona was more like the World Champs than the Europeans. Of the world leaders, I think only the American Hyleas Fountain was missing. Everybody else could say that it was about “only” Europe, but in heptathlon the continental champs do not make much difference with the world or the Olympics! This makes my silver even more precious.
“I know many athletes who after the Olympic gold lacked emotions to go further. It is a special state of my mind, when you understand that you are ready to fight, to live for this medal. I also felt for some time after the Olympics that I was tired, that I wanted to rest. But after big disappointment in Gotzis earlier in the season all the emotions were back. I believe it is about my character: it is like on the waves, the interests always change! I’ve already had dancing, travelling, and sports again and again… Of course I know that for the long career in sports it’s better to be psychologically stable. But from the other side, these two months of intense training before the main competition made me even stronger than I was before, after long, endless months of preparation for the Olympics. May be such waves are really my secret of success?
“I know, you would like to ask what I think about the winner Jessica Ennis, if I would be able to beat her. Yes, Jessica is a great athlete, but I know my reserve. What if I managed to do the shot put in Barcelona as I can do, at least 50cm farther? These are definitely the 80 points which in the end I lacked to win… I could have high jumped higher, and all our javelin coaches are saying that I have huge technical reserve. I believe it’s time to stop just listening to them, it’s time to work on my javelin!
“But before – again remember the waves! – it’s time for rest. Immediately after Barcelona I went on a short holiday in Amsterdam with my husband, really short, because I have to stay in shape for my last competition of the season – the Decastar on 18-19 September in Talence.
“Talk to you after it,”