When Germany’s Cindy Roleder reached the last barrier in the 100m hurdles final at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing last summer she was fourth.
But then, in less than a blink of an eyelid, she was the silver medallist.
A brilliant burst of finishing speed took Roleder onto the podium and it is why she will be cheered to the rafters when she makes her season’s major debut at the PSD Bank Meeting in Dusseldorf on February 3.
The field for the 60m hurdles at this European Athletics Indoor Permit meeting will give Roleder quite a test in a year where she will look for more success after her superb world championships display.
In Beijing, she ran the "race of her life" in a personal best of 12.59 behind Jamaica’s Danielle Williams (12.57) after winning bronze at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich the previous year.
In what should be one of the best races of the indoor season in Dusseldorf, Roleder will not only face the three women who beat her to the medals last March at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague but also the reigning world indoor champion.
That was some final, too, in Prague as Alina Talay, of Belarus, won in a national record of 7.85 ahead of British pair Lucy Hatton (7.90) and Serita Solomon (7.93) and Roleder (7.93).
All four ran personal bests but then in Beijing, Roleder beat Talay, who was third (12.66).
American Nia Ali is the defending world indoor 60m hurdles champion who will be looking for a good run as the championships themselves, in Portland, will be only a month away.
A year ago at the PSD Bank Meeting, Talay beat Roleder - 7.96 to 8.04 - before her silver success in Beijing was Germany’s first 100m hurdles world medal since East Germany’s Gloria Siebert at the second world championships in Rome in 1987.