Coping with pressure and winning the title
Alina Talay captures gold at European Athletics Indoor Championship for the women’s 60 metre hurdles, held in Prague
Medallists Svetlana Kudelich, Alina Talay and Yulia LeontyukThe Belarusian won the continental tournament’s finals with the 7.85 sec result which became the sportswoman’s best record in her career in short hurdles, and a new national record for Belarus (the previous record of 7.86 sec has stood for 25 years). On her way to the championship title, Talay was steadily improving her results. In the qualifying race, she covered the distance in 8.04 sec and, later in the semi-finals, showing a serious claim on a medal, qualifying for the finals with a 7.89 sec result. In the decisive race, the Belarusian confirmed her status. Lucy Hatton of Britain was behind by 0.05 sec, winning silver. Bronze went to the UK’s Serita Solomon (7.93 sec). As a result, Orsha-born Talay won her fifth medal in the short space this winter season, having already achieved victory in international tournaments.
After the race, the Belarusian emotionally spoke to reporters, “I experienced pressure before the current start: the team expected me to win gold. It was a challenge to concentrate but I succeeded. I’m happy to be first. Before the season, I replaced my coach and am now being trained by Austria’s Philipp Unfried. It’s not easy to put a new training plan together in just four months, but we managed it. I’d love to thank my family and all those who supported me.”
More medals went to Belarus in the Prague championships: silver to Yulia Leontyuk and Svetlana Kudelich.
By Igor Grishin