Primoz Kozmus looking to finally get continental honours in Helsinki
|Olympic hammer champion Primoz Kozmus of
Slovenia will bid for a European gold, the only medal
still missing from his collection of international
accolades, in Helsinki this summer.
Kozmus, now 32, went on to win the 2009 world title the year after his Beijing triumph but has never won a medal at the show piece for European athletics.
He didn't get beyond the qualifying rounds 10 years ago at the 2002 European Athletics Championships in Munich and then finished seventh in 2006. Kozmus then took a 20-month sabbatical from competition after the end of the 2009 season and did not return until May last year.
However, he showed that the break had done him little harm as he returned refreshed and went on to pick up the bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships last summer.
"The most important meeting of the season for me is the Olympic Games but I also will compete at the European Athletics Championships, unless there are unforeseen circumstances," commented Kozmus on his website www.primozkozmus.si
The 2012 European Athletics Championships will be held in Helsinki from 27 June – 1 July.
Competing in Helsinki will be a novelty for Kozmus as, despite his 13 years as an international athlete, he has never competed in the Finnish capital. He missed the 2005 season through injury when Helsinki staged the World Championships that year.
Kozmus also outlined how he plans to start his campaign that leads towards Helsinki and London.
"I will open my season in Slovenska Bistrica on May 26, where I hope to throw around 79 metres, and I want to go over 80 metres in Velenje (on 14 June) where the competition will be strong and Krisztián Pars has already confirmed his participation there," he added.
Pars, Hungary's 2011 World Championships silver medallist, has been in great early season form and threw a world-leading 81.16m last month. The Velenje meeting, Slovenia's top athletics event, is an European Athletics Outdoor Classic Meeting.
Details of all European Athletics Outdoor Meetings can be found here.
Kozmus has a best of 82.58m, set in 2009, but his coach Marjan Ogorevc said last week that he believes Kozmus can improve on that this year and join the ranks of the elite throwers who have thrown over 83 metres.