In July of 2003, Argentina’s Germán Chiaraviglio became the first Athletics World champion ever for his nation, when he took the Pole Vault’s World Youth title in Sherbrooke, Canada.
Almost a year has gone by and now at 17 years of age, Germán holds the World Youth best (5.51m), and is preparing for the 10th IAAF World Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy.
Here is how he approaches the event, and the way he reflects about his short career.
“I started in athletics motivated by my family when I was very young. At the beginning I was doing almost all events, and then I remember focusing on the Pole when I was about 8 years old.”
“My father, who is also my coach, has been very influential in my career. He has always assisted me, teaching me everything he knows, and since he was a vaulter himself, he is the one who motivated me to choose the event.
“Coming from Argentina, a country that won its best international honours in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, it was a great joy to win the World title, even a Youth one. We, like in almost all countries in South America, train in conditions that sometimes are far from ideal, and that’s why winning something big has a sweeter taste.”
“I admire Sergey Bubka, but I never thought about trying to achieve some of the things he has achieved. Perhaps only in my dreams... Today, I can say that it looks at least possible to get closer to some of his performances. Very difficult but possible.”
“We prepared the 2004 season in Argentina. First, we had a short cycle of training in Mar del Plata, and then we continued in Santa Fe, were I live. We competed in several countries of South America, such as Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. Now we are facing a period of more specific training in Formia, Italy, and the goal is obviously to be in top form in Grosseto.”
“It is possible to aim at a medal for the World Juniors, but it will be very difficult. There are several factors to consider when you are on the Track. That’s when all the stats and predictions become worthless. Once there, you have to advance to the final, and then hope to have a good day, and jump as high as possible.”
“I don’t believe that I’m different from the rest, whether in Argentina, or in South America.
I believe I had some good results, I have improved my marks year after year, and thank God, we have fulfilled our goals. For me, that’s the best indicator that we are doing things the right way.”
“In 2003 I was elected as the best athlete of Argentina, something that made me very proud, and motivates me to keep moving forward. I was only 16 then, but I don’t know if it was deserved or exaggerated. Those who choose me are the ones who have to answer that question.”
“Without any doubt, the World Youth Best, as well as the World Youth title, have been very significant to me. I must admit that now at 17, I’m very proud of my achievements, which have given me a great deal of motivation to continue trying to improve and to get closer to new victories.”
“We came to Italy with my father. We are training with coach Vitaly Petrov, hoping to learn new things and trying to improve my technique. Then, the results will tell the truth in Grosseto.”
Born in Santa Fe, 16 April 1987. 1.93m, 78kg.
Coached by his father, Guillermo Chiaraviglio (pb 4.50 ’81)
2003 World Youth Champion; 2003 Pan-American Junior Champion; 2003 South American Junior Champion; 2004 National Champion.
5.51m World Youth Best, South American Junior record and Argentinean National record.
His competitions of 2004
5.10 1 Rosario 13 March
5.30 1 Santa Fe 3 April
5.25 1 Mar del Plata 11 April
5.00 1 Rosario 14 April
5.30 1 Montevideo 18 April
5.51 1 Porto Alegre 1 May
5.30 1 Santiago de Chile 8 May
5.45 1 NC Rosario 5 June