Under 23 champion Van Der Plaetsen looking for senior honours in Helsinki
|Belgian multi-eventer Thomas Van Der Plaetsen is
hopeful of finish on the podium at the 2012
European Athletics Championships in Helsinki.
"The European Championships are high on priority list this year," said Van Der Plaetsen.
His decathlon personal best is currently 8157 points, which he set when winning his European title in Ostrava last summer, which would have got him fifth place at the last European Athletics Championships in Barcelona two years ago but at just 21 he can expect to make a huge improvement this summer.
The 2012 European Athletics Championships, which will be staged in the Finnish capital from 27 June to 1 July, will be one of two decathlons Van Der Plaetsen will compete in ahead of the Olympics. He has also received an invitation to compete at the famous IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting in the Austrian town of Götzis on 26-27 May.
Van Der Plaetsen, who also won the decathlon title at the 2009 European Athletics Junior Championships, is returning home this week after a two-month training camp in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
"I'm quite satisfied with my work and performance in training. The conditions were just fantastic, I think I have never experienced a better time. There was nothing on the schedule that I was unable to finish, which has never been the case before. Apart from some minor injuries, I am really pleased with what I have been able to do," commented the Belgian multi-events exponent.