“Olá meus amigos! (Hello my friends!)
“I hope you are all doing well. This time I’m writing to you from Moscow!
“We got here last Saturday after being in Lisbon for two weeks, getting ready for the World Championships.
“The last time I communicated with you through the diary was right after the Trofeu Brasil (Brazilian National Championshipss) where I set a personal best of 8.31m.
“Since then, all we have been doing is training with a few, but important, competitions. Actually there were only two competitions – one in Colombia and one in London on 27 July.
“At the beginning of July we had the South American Championships in Cartagena, a nice city in the Colombian Caribbean. As you can imagine, it was pretty hot and humid, but those conditions are good for me. Believe it or not, it was my first South American Championships! I jumped on the first day, which was 5 July. Luckily things went very well and I won the title.
“Peru’s Jorge McFarlane jumped 8.01m in round one. I started with a foul and followed with 7.97m, but then I reached 8.13m in round three. With that done, I felt I could jump farther and in round five I leaped to 8.24m, which is my fourth-best performance ever and a championship record. I was very happy!
“I also got to compete against my idol, Panama’s Irving Saladino, the 2007 World Champion and 2008 Olympic Champion. He finished third with 7.94m and we took a photo together after the medal ceremony. I really admire him and I feel lucky to be his friend.
“Irving is a great inspiration for me. Earlier this week he sent me a message that I want to share with you. It said: “Go with great faith and jump as far as you can.”
“After heading back to Sao Jose do Rio Preto, we started to train again, focusing in Moscow. First we went to Lisbon with my coach, Aristides Junqueira, ‘Tide’ (pronounced Chee-dee) and his son, Ricardo, who is the physical therapist. We travelled along with Keila Costa and her coach Neilton Moura.
“From Lisbon we went to London to compete in the Olympic Stadium at the Diamond League event. Keila also competed in London, finishing sixth in the Triple Jump with 13.77m.
“I felt a little tired at the competition. It wasn’t a great day for me but I twice jumped eight metres and finished in third place. My last jump was the best one, but it was a foul around 8.10-8.15m. I was satisfied with my performance because I competed without adjusting my training for the event, still having done heavy workouts in the previous days.
“Just like Cartagena was my first South American Championships, Moscow will be my first World Championships! I have competed at two Olympic Games and I was lucky to win a World Indoor title, but I will be a debutant at the World Championships!
“How am I feeling? It feels like heading into an Olympic Game for me. I approach it with the same expectation.
“All my training has gone very well and we are expecting a good result. My coach and my physical therapist have done a great job getting me ready for this.
“I feel Aleksandr Menkov is the favourite. He will be competing at home and that’s a plus. He also has shown great form throughout the season and achieved great results at Diamond League meets. Mexican Luis Rivera is a fast jumper and has good prospects. He hasn’t jumped 8.46m by accident and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he reaches the podium.
“My initial goal is to qualify for the final. I need to be focused in the qualification round, ready to jump well. The goal would be to qualify with my first jump. Then, if everything goes well and I make it to the final, I will compete with patience, trying to go jump by jump, without thinking that I will win or get a medal in the first attempt.
“I feel I’m in better form than at the Brazilian Championships where I set my personal best. Now it’s only a matter of getting the last details ready. Getting enough rest, eating well and focusing on the things I have to do to perform at my best.
“If you wish to get more updates from Moscow, you can follow my instagram account: @airduda.
“Bom mundial para todos! (Have a great World Championships, everyone!) I hope you all enjoy it; wish me well!