Fit-again Vlasic could return for European indoors | 21.11.2012
|Croatian high jump star Blanka Vlasic is ready to
return to athletics after being sidelined for most of
2012 due to a surgery.
Vlasic, 29, the double high jump world champion, was forced to miss this summer's European Athletics Championships in Helsinki and the Olympic Games in London after a suffering from a bacterial problem.
It has been a year to forget for Vlasic after she needed surgery on an Achilles tendon injury in January.
But from the gloom, the prospect of a new era in a career where she won silver at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, two years before jumping to gold at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona.
Vlasic said: "I feel really cool. The plan is to be even better and come back stronger than I was before.
"I'm missing the competition. I want to confirm all of what I do in training."
Speaking to the Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji List, she added: "I miss the final product. You train to compete. I have a lot of plans, desires and ambitions. This injury was like a gift because I realised where the priorities are also in normal life."
Vlasic is such a crowd favourite - both for an ability that has seen her record the second best jump in history and for the way she dances on the mat once she has cleared the bar.
Vlasic's 2.08m in Zagreb in 2009 was just one centimetre behind the world record that Bulgarian Stefka Kostadinova set at the World Championships in Rome in 1987.
But Göteborg would have extra significance.
Vlasic has won medals at all the major championships indoors and out - expect the European Athletics Indoor Championships.
She has not competed since the final Diamond League meeting in 2011 and it was less than two weeks before the start of London 2012 that she announced the pain of not being fit enough to be there.
Vlasic so much wanted to be at the Olympics but as she wrote on her website: "I've been postponing (my) decision about my participation in London hopeful to get some positive wind into my back."
It did not happen. But now she is back and it is only about the future, not the past.