Alessia Trost of Italy at the IAAF Press Conference for the World Junior Championships in Barcelona (Getty Images) © Copyright
Feature Barcelona

Trost hopes advice of Di Martino and Simeoni will assist in High Jump encounter with Kuchina

Alessia Trost who many believe in due course could follow in the footsteps of great Italian high jumpers Antonietta Di Martino and the legendary Sara Simeoni insists she will have a "struggle" on her hands lifting the IAAF World Junior Championships title.

The tall and confident 19-year-old who first visited an athletics stadium as a seven-year-old with her father who was a keen runner, finally switched to becoming a high jump specialist eight years later.

"I started going to the track and doing all disciplines. But my body was set for the High Jump and my trainer was a High Jump specialist," said Trost who with a personal best of 1.92 metres in May this year, is already showing senior opponents she is a natural and has great future potential for the event.

That performance on home country soil in Gorizia elevated Trost to Number One in the World this year but she knows with Russia's Mariya Kuchina and Ukraine's Iryna Herashchenko in the line-up it will be a hard fought battle to achieve a victory.

"I think it's going to be a struggle because Kuchina is in the competition so I will just go out and compete and see what is going to happen," said the 2009 World Youth Championships gold medallist and runner up at the following year's Youth Olympics to her Russian rival.

"I know she has jumped 1.89 (outdoors) this year," she said of Kuchina the 2011 European Athletics Junior champion, who she wishes to get to know better but until now unsuccessfully.

"I've tried to speak to her but she doesn't speak English," added Trost, herself very fluent in the IAAF's first official language. "I've written to her but she has not replied.

"Let's see what happens," she said of the competition where the qualifying rounds are on Friday morning and the final two days later, well aware Kuchina cleared a very solid 1.97m indoors last year and also produced a leap of one centimetre less again indoors during the winter season.

Trost values the friendship and advice she has received from Di Martino the Italian record holder with a height of 2.04m indoors and the charismatic Simeoni whose best performance was her World record leap of 2.01m in Brescia 34 years ago.

"I know them both and I must say that they are two great persons," she revealed. "Sara is a very exciting person, she is happy, she is always smiling while Antonietta is always concentrating on what she is doing.

"I take advice from them both," added Trost hoping the passed on knowledge will at least allow her to better the only High Jump medal won by an Italian in the Championships history when Elena Vallortigara finished third two years ago in Moncton, Canada.

David Martin for the IAAF