Fabiana Murer vaults to 4.82m at “XXVIII Troféu Brasil Caixa de Atletismo” (Alexandre Loureiro/CBAt) © Copyright
Born in Campinas, State of São Paulo on 16 March 1981, and possessor or 18 South American records – 9 outdoors (4.82m ’09) and 9 indoors (4.81m ’09) – Murer has also won every possible title in her region: Pan-American Games, South American Championships and “Campeonato Iberoamericano”, but at the international level, her biggest achievements are only a bronze medal at the 2008 World Indoor Championships, and a silver medal at the 2006 World Cup.
“It’s been somehow frustrating to come home with our hands empty from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin,” expresses Élson Miranda de Souza, the 44-year-old coach of Murer. “And it was frustrating because the results obtained by Fabiana during each one of those years weren’t repeated in those competitions, and we later could see that marks possible for her would have brought a medal.”
Due to a logistical problem with her vaults, Murer could only manage a tenth place showing in Beijing, and a year later a fifth place finish in Berlin, where the “open competition”, due to three fouls by Isinbayeva, was taken by Poland’s Anna Rogowska with a “modest” mark of 4.75m.
“These past two years have represented a great evolution on me,” Murer, now 28, says. “I was always able of improving my marks, I keep on learning new things at international events, but for some reason I wasn’t able to reach my whole potential at the two main competitions, something that should have been expected, due to my form. Yet, that’s something that for me is encouraging: I need to train more and mend some technical issues, and in the future I will be on the podium.”.
Petrov and Isinbayeva
“We have been close to Vitali Petrov – Isinbayeva’s actual coach – since 2001, and I credit his influence for Fabiana’s evolution,” coach de Souza says. “Because without the patience and knowledge of Vitali, we wouldn’t have been able to obtain what Fabiana has obtained in a country like Brazil, which doesn’t have good conditions for Pole Vaulting.”
“With her phenomenal results, Yelena has influenced – and keeps doing it – the rest of the field, and made the rest of the competitors think that we must keep improving, if we want to be at least close to her,” Murer says.
“When Yelena started training with Vitali in 2005, we started to have a closer contact, and with her friendship and warmth, she showed us that besides being a great athlete, she is also a great person. She also shared many experiences and anecdotes with Fabiana, but mostly made us believe that it was possible to think, like in her quest of reaching 5.20m, as Vitali says, to conquer higher marks, since the difficulties were similar,” expresses de Souza.
“I have a good relationship with Yelena. It’s logical that during competition each one is concentrated in her own thing. But outside of competition we are good friends. When I’m in Europe I train in Formia, Italy, with Yelena, and we almost compete at all the same meets, so that closeness solidified our friendship, and helped me to improve my marks. Her experience and influence taught me that it was possible to vault higher,” says Murer, who adds: “I don’t see Yelena as a rival when we compete. My goal is always to make my best jumps, and then, I know that the placing will only be a consequence of how I vault.”
Setback in Berlin helps to look ahead
“It’s hard to explain,” Murer acknowledges, “but I still don’t quite know where the obstacle was that didn’t let me reach the podium in Berlin. I thought I was very well prepared, but we deal with a very complex event, where problems can appear at several fronts.”
“What I take as a positive thing from Berlin, is that I was able to recover at the later meets, starting at Zürich (3rd at Weltklasse, 4th at Brussels, =2nd at World Athletics Final), and that made me regain confidence for the future. Actually, the three fouls by Isinbayeva in Berlin is another proof of how complex this event is, and how much any technical problem can affect you in any given day, causing a great upset.”
“I don’t think the whole panorama of women’s Pole Vaulting is going to change much in the next years,” Murer continues. “The majority of the top athletes have almost the same age, and I believe we can keep improving. We are still far from Yelena, but that only shows that our event can keep growing with the influence of the younger girls, added to the actual group of elite. However, I don’t see anyone – besides Yelena, of course – that could have an edge over the rest. The group of finalists from the past World Championships is almost the same, and very competitive. We are practically all at the same level.”
“2010 is for us a year without massive outdoor events, but we have the World Indoor Championships, which for our event is almost the same as an outdoor one,” de Souza says. “From the last WIC, in Valencia, I remember athletes such as American Jennifer Stuczynski, or Russian Svetlana Feofanova, who actually couldn’t compete at the Berlin World Championships.”
“So, our expectations for next season will be the same as the past: keep improving physically and technically to achieve better results, which will maintain Fabiana at the elite of the women’s Pole Vault. To do that, we must continue working with Petrov, looking for the best ways to adapt his knowledge and techniques to our daily work in Brazil. We believe Fabiana is capable of reaching the podium at the Olympic Games of London 2012,” de Souza concludes.
Rio de Janeiro, and not for a carnival date
The announcement of Rio de Janeiro as the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games was seen as a huge triumph for her country, and Murer concedes that she just may extend her career to include Rio on her CV.
“The triumph of Rio in hosting the 2016 Olympic Games was received with great joy by all athletes in Brazil,” Murer says. “It’s going to be great for the whole country, and will mostly help the main Olympic sports, such as athletics, in a dramatic way. We desperately need the investment in the best training facilities, which will be surely reflected, later on, in the younger generations of athletes, who will have access to the best conditions, something that sadly I didn’t always have in my career as a top athlete.”
“Before the announcement of 2 October, confirming Rio as the host city, I always thought I would stop competing in 2014, but such a magnificent event brings a great desire to perform at home in a historical situation. I guess I shall have to evaluate my shape and physical condition by then, but if I can, I would love to say my farewell from athletics in Rio 2016.”
Full slate before and after Doha
“We will begin our indoor season in Stuttgart, on 6 February,” says de Souza. “Then on 10 February in Bydgoszcz.” Competitions in Birmingham on 20 February and Donetsk on 6 March follow before the World Indoor Championships in Doha.
“It will be very hard to repeat the medal (bronze) obtained by Fabiana in Valencia 2008, but we should be in a good position to jump over 4.80m, perhaps even somehow close to 4.90m on this indoor season,” de Souza continues. “We are now training in São Caetano do Sul since the closing of the main track in São Paulo, and we are still adjusting to that, but we are confident.”
“For the rest of the season, we will participate at the “Campeonato Iberoamericano” in Spain, because it’s an important event for our Confederation, the IAAF Diamond League, and we hope to qualify for the IAAF Continental Cup.”
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF
Fabiana de Almeida Murer
Campinas, São Paulo, 16 March 1981. 1.72m/64Kg.
Club: Clube BM&F Bovespa de Atletismo.
Coach: Élson Miranda de Souza.
Progress at PV: 1998- 3.66; 1999- 3.81; 2000- 3.90; 2001- 3.91; 2002- 3.70; 2003- 4.06; 2004- 4.25; 2005- 4.40; 2006- 4.66; 2007- 4.65; 2008- 4.80; 2009- 4.82. Indoor pb: 4.81 (’09).
At major meets: WCh: ’05- 15q, ‘07- 6=, ‘09- 5; WI: ‘06- 15q, ’08- 3=; WCp: ‘06- 2; WJ: ‘98- =14q, ‘01- 10; PAm: ’99- 9, ’07- 1; SAm: ’99- 3, ’01- 6, ’05- 2, ’06- 1, ’07- 1, ’09- 1; PAm-J: ’99- 2; Won IbAm 2006 and SAm-J 1998, ’99, ’00.
- Fabiana Murer vaults to 4.82m at “XXVIII Troféu Brasil Caixa de Atletismo” (Alexandre Loureiro/CBAt) © Copyright
- Fabiana Murer in Sao Paulo (Bruno Miani/CBAt) © Copyright
- Fabiana Murer on the way to her 4.60m meet record at the South American Championships (Eduardo Biscayart) © Copyright
- Fabiana de Almeira Murer comes down from a successful clearance of 4.80m at 2008 “Troféu Brasil/Caixa de Atletismo” (Bruno Miami/CBAt) © Copyright