Grabarz on road to famous double | 09.02.2013
|European outdoor high jump champion Robbie Grabarz
of Great Britain.
This weekend in Sheffield, Robbie Grabarz is aiming to take a big step towards equalling the feats of Valentin Gavrilov, Vladimir Yashchenko, Dietmaer Mogenburg and Artur Partyka.
Grabarz, 25, won gold at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki last summer with a jump of 2.29m and now aims to cement his place at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Göteborg which start three weeks today.
"In 2012, it was a crazy year for me and I could never have predicted the success that I had," said Grabarz, who then went on to win bronze with 2.31m at the Olympic Games in London.
"This year has started pretty well after jumping 2.29m (in Glasgow) but now I want to kick on and go even higher in Sheffield."
He was beaten in Scotland by Russia's Aleksey Dmitrik who tops the European rankings with 2.36m but it can be so much about on the day.
If Grabarz wins in Göteborg, he will join the high jump European 'double club' of Russians Gavrilov (1969: Belgrade and Athens) and Yashchenko (1978: Milan and Prague), West Germany's Mogenburg (1982: Milan and Athens) and Poland's Partyka (1998: Valencia and Budapest).
A place in the top two is needed at these British Athletics European Trials and UK Championships to secure a place in Sweden and Grabarz is determined to give the fans a performance to remember, such is his desire to build on his magnificent achievements last year.
He added: "I thrive off of competing in front of British crowds and I am sure they will get behind me again in Sheffield.
"I want to have a strong indoor season with a good performance at the European Indoors to set me up for outdoors so that I can go to the World Championships and challenge for a medal."
He shares the outdoor British record of 2.37m with Steve Smith, the Olympic bronze medallist in 1996 in Atlanta, who holds the national indoor best of 2.37m.
Grabarz, whose indoor PB is that 2.29m, is looking to the summer and added: "There's always something that you can pick apart and improve upon. I want that British outdoor record all to myself as opposed to sharing it with Steve Smith - I know there's still more in the tank."