After missing out on global medals at the 2016 Olympics and 2017 IAAF World Championships, David Storl returned to the rostrum with silver in the shot put at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
Storl is looking to use the indoor season as a springboard not only to challenge for his fourth successive European outdoor title in Berlin, but to return to 22m-plus form as well.
Storl is warm weather training in Lanzarote, Spain and he will open his season domestically in Schonebeck on 18 May. With his new coach Wilko Schaa, they have been focusing specifically on speed ahead of the outdoor season. "This is the right way to return to my best of 22.20m," he said.
One of his most important competitions en route to Berlin will be the German Championships in Nurnberg and the organisers are moving both the men’s and women’s events out of the main arena and into the city centre - an innovation that Storl fully supports.
"The focus is completely on our discipline. It pushes us a lot when the spectators are so close to the action,” he said.
Both competitions will take place in the city’s main market square in the makeshift “Berlin 2018 Arena” on 19 July. There will be space for up to 2000 spectators in the specifically constructed grandstands as well as standing room for another 2000 spectators. Admission is also free the event.
Storl won the national title four years ago with 21.87m and he is aiming to surpass that mark in Nurnberg this July. "I want to attack my championship record," said Storl. "I imagine this is a distance with which you can get gold at the European Championships."
The women’s competition is due to feature Christina Schwanitz, who is also looking to retain her European title in Berlin. Schwanitz is back in training after giving birth to twins last year.
The action inside the Max Morlock Stadium in Nurnberg takes place across the weekend of 21-22 July and 15,000 tickets have already been sold for both days of the German Championships.
“The presale is going well, we hope for well-filled ranks in the stadium," said the Executive Director Events in the German Athletics Federation Marco Buxmann.
More information on the 2018 European Championships:
- The Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships will be part of the first multi-sport European Championships along with co-hosts Glasgow.
- It will be a must-watch, must-attend experience that elevates the status of European Champions, uniting existing European Championships to celebrate the highest honour in European sport and celebrating the defining moments that create Champions.
- It is the continent’s ultimate multi-sport event, an 11-day celebration of European sport staged every four years.
- Seven of Europe’s leading sports (athletics, aquatics, rowing, golf, cycling, gymnastics, triathlon) will be brought together for the first edition.
- The European Athletics Championships in Berlin will be staged 7-12 August. The six other sports will be staged in Glasgow through 2-12 August.
- 4500 athletes and 52 nations will compete across the seven sports.
- Potential TV audience of over one billion with millions more across multiple digital platforms.
- Over half a million spectators expected.