Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton has declared herself “fit and ready” as she aims to win her first global title in the pentathlon tomorrow at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016.
For the three-time global silver medallist, Oregon is like a second home to her; it is where she has evolved to become one of the world’s top combined eventers.
“I have been living in Oregon now for almost nine years,” Theisen-Eaton said at the press conference for the World Indoor Championships. “Being able to drive up the road, it almost feels surreal that this is happening in our backyard. We never get that. We always have to go Europe. This is really exciting. All of my family is coming from Canada. It is nice to show our competitors where we live, where we come from.”
Following her silver medal at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015, where she arrived as a favourite after setting a world lead in the heptathlon, she is confident that her experience in the Chinese capital will help her better deal with the pressure of a high-calibre competition such as tomorrow’s.
“I learned a lot at the last year’s World Championships,” said the Commonwealth champion. “We have been working quite a bit to be more mentally prepared for these kind of things. I have never gone to an event as a favourite. I do feel very confident in that aspect of my training. I feel fit, I feel ready but I am really excited to put this side of competition to the test and execute what we have been doing in practice.”
The intimacy of indoor competition will allow the Canadian to be on the same track with her husband, USA’s world and Olympic champion and world record-holder Ashton Eaton, who is going for a third consecutive global indoor title.
“Unlike Ash, I don't enjoy the pentathlon as much as I enjoy the heptathlon because it misses two events that I enjoy doing,” she said. “But it is a good opportunity to see where you are at, to compete in a more intimate setting, very different than outdoors.
“It can be fun at this time of the year when training can get stale. It is something to get you excited and take advantage of that uncomfortable sort of feeling you get in a high-pressure situation. It is good practice for Rio later this summer.”
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF