Olha's change of mind could lead to gold | 19.02.2013
|European outdoor triple jump champion Olha
Saladuha of Ukraine. (Getty Images)
This is what the triple jumper said just three weeks ago after ligament treatment in the latter part of last year: "My 2013 goal is to defend the world title in Moscow. That's why I am going to start my summer preparation a bit earlier than usual – from the beginning of March."
All change. From the beginning of March, Ukrainian Saladukha will be in only one place...on the runway in Sweden looking for gold again.
Such has been the impact that the double European champion has made over the past weeks, along with the fitness she has shown, that Saladukha is flying.
She will lead the Ukraine team - a preliminary squad has been announced - and the expectations will be high.
If her performances are just part of preparation, it has been impressive jumping from the world champion.
Saladukha tops the world rankings with 14.61m from Birmingham last Saturday and has the second best mark of 14.52m from Dusseldorf eight days earlier.
Her closest rival, Russian Natalya Kutyakova, is 11 centimetres behind her on distances this year.
In Helsinki last summer, Saladukha successfully defended her outdoor European title as a personal best jump of 14.99m took her to gold but injury set in and her best at the Olympic Games in London was 14.79m which brought bronze.
But however cautious the 29-year-old has been with her plans, she is back in style and will be looking for her first major indoor title.
Marie Ryemyen will be another Ukrainian aiming to cement a fine indoor season in Göteborg as she is Europe's 's fastest woman in 2013 after running 7.12 in Moscow, while teammate Anzhelika Shevchenko tops the 1500m rankings with 4:07.65.
Ukraine's preliminary squad for the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Göteborg (Mar 1-3):
60m: Serhiy Sahutkin; 400m: Volodymyr Burakov, Vitaliy Butrym; 800m: Taras Bybyk; 1500m: Oleksandr Borysyuk, Volodymyr Kyts; 3000m: Ivan Strebkov. 60mH: Serhiy Kopanayko; Long jump: Oleksiy Kasyanov; Triple jump: Yevhen Semerenko, Viktor Kuznetsov, Viktor Yastrebov; High jump: Yuriy Krymarenko, Dmytro Demyanyuk, Vitaliy Samoylenko; Pole vault: Oleksandr Korchmid, Ivan Yeryomin; Shot put: Dmytro Savytskyy, Andriy Semenov.
60m: Mariya Ryemyen, Nataliya Pohrebnyak; 800m: Nataliya Lupu, Olha Lyakhova; 1500m: Anzhelika Shevchenko; 60mh: Anna Plotitsyna; 4x400m: Olha Zemlyak, Yuliya Krasnoshchok, Olha Bibik, Kseniya Karandyuk; Long jump: Anastasiya Mokhnyuk; Triple jump: Olha Saladuha, Ruslana Tsyhotska; High jump: Olena Kholosha, Iryna Herashchenko, Kateryna Tabashnyk; Shot put: Olha Holodna, Halyna Obleshchuk; Pentathlon: Hanna Melnychenko, Alina Fyodorova.