Sailer flies - even with flu | 25.02.2013
|Verena Sailer of Germany. (Getty Images)
Sailer, 27, just about made it to the start line in Dortmund for this 60m race at the German National Championships on Saturday as she battled flu.
So close to the European Athletics Indoor Championships, which open in Göteborg this Friday, it was a worrying shock to the system.
The 100m individual champion from the European Championships in Barcelona in 2010 and 60m bronze medallist from the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Torino in 2009 was left wondering if her Göteborg plans would be hit.
But any concerns were dismissed in a blink of an eye.
Having already run 7.16 this winter to be third on the European rankings, Sailer crossed the line in 7.18.
And as she said: "Last week I was still in bed with fever. Now I am very satisfied.
"I really wanted another competition before the European Indoors."
Now she will spend the next few days preparing because she is aware of the slim margins in her event between victory and defeat at this shortest distance on the programme.
Speaking with leichatletik.de, Sailer said: "Among the top five in Europe, we are very close, because if you only make a small mistake, it's over."
Indeed there is so little between the leading protagonists.
Mariya Ryemyen, of the Ukraine, tops the European Athletics rankings with the 7.12 she ran in Moscow at the start of this month. She is followed by Britain's Asha Phillips on 7.15 and then Sailer with Bulgarian Ivet Lalova on 7.19 and Norway's Ezinne Okparaebo with 7.20 making up the top five.
But the production line in Germany looks good as behind Sailer in Dortmund was Tatjana Pinto, 20, in 7.24, having already run 7.23 in 2013 to be seventh in the rankings.
But Sailer will arrive in Sweden ready to win gold after a good winter of preparation, even if she did take seven weeks off after the Olympic Games.
Sailer added: "I am very well-trained. That is why I also did not let this cold (affect me) in the last few days off the track."
It is a good time for sprinting in Germany with Julian Reus fourth in the men's 60m rankings.
As head coach Idriss Gonschiska said: "The positive trend in the sprint area has continued with Julian Reus and Verena Sailer. They have the next week to refuel self-confidence."