“Ola amigos! – Hello my friends!
“It’s been a long time!
“Thanks for all the good wishes I received for the World Championships in Moscow. The event turned out to be a great experience for all my team. I was expecting more but I was pleased with both my performance (8.24m) and my fifth place.
“I struggled a bit during the qualifying round, where I had several problems. I could only advance to the final with the 11th best performance (7.92m).
“Those technical issues appeared again in the final, mostly in the first two jumps, which I fouled. So, I was really only left with four attempts, but I still did well: 8.09, 8.05, 8.23 and 8.24.
“However, it was rather bitter-sweet as an 8.29m jump was good enough for a silver medal and 8.27m for the bronze. It was a great event and Menkov (who jumped 8.56m for the gold medal) was simply in a different class.
“He put up a wonderful display and delivered one of the best moments of the World Championships for the home crowd.
“As for myself, I learned many lessons in Moscow. The most valuable one, perhaps, was the maturity and experience I gained from such a high quality competition.
“Despite being the 2012 World indoor champion, I haven’t been at many of these events in my career. I’m still learning, that’s the most important thing that I took away from my first World outdoor championship. It was another lesson – an important one.
“Although I was in great shape, I decided – along with my coach, ‘Tide’, and my physical therapist, Ricardo – to end the season after Moscow. My knees were feeling the pressure of lots of technical workouts, and we decided not to risk things. I know that the end-of-season meets are very profitable, but we try to think about long term.
“So, I came back home and started to rest, focusing on the 2014 season, which will have two goals: the World Indoor Championships and the Diamond League meetings in the second part of the year.
“Yet, next year will be taken as another step towards the major goal that we have, which is the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“As I said before, I’m still a ‘student’ at major competitions. Going to Sopot 2014 as the defending World champion will be a great honour. I know I will be adding unnecessary pressure to myself if I head over there with the goal of repeating the title. I would obviously love that, but I just want to do well; being in the podium will be a great achievement for me.
“Training is going very well. We are still in the loading phase, just working on general conditioning and strength. Basically, I’m just starting putting the base together.
“In a couple of weeks we will move to the technical phase, were we will try to correct some aspects of the take-off and the landing. We haven’t done any major tests, however ‘Tide’ is happy with my form and believes I’m in a good place, comparing to previous years.
“So far I have been confirmed for the indoor meet in Birmingham, in February. Before that we may jump outdoors a couple of times in São Paulo, to get ready for the winter season. The goal is to have three or four meets before Sopot."
“The rest of my life is great. At this part of the year, the end of spring in the southern hemisphere, I love to spend time at my little ‘chacra’ (ranch) in Sao Jose do Rio Preto. I also spent my vacation there. It’s a place where I can relax and enjoy my free time.
“Since I travel for a big part of the year, I decided not to go anywhere. Maybe next year I will go to a beach for my holidays. However, my vacations were great and got me ready for another challenging season.
“We will spend the end-of-year holidays here as well, and also my birthday, which is 26 December! It will be a double celebration! It’s great to have all my family and my girlfriend around at those times.
“Now, 2013 is almost over. Before it ends I will have the honour of receiving an award given by the Brazilian National Olympic Committee, which recognizes the best track and field athlete of the year. It’s my first award and I hope it’s not the last one!
Thanks to all of you who have followed this diary! It is a great feeling to be able to share my experiences with you. Thank you!
“Abraços (hugs) and best wishes for the New Year!
“Mauro Vinicius (Duda)”