Germany's Betty Heidler contemplates new goals | 19.10.2012
She won 11 of her 14 competitions but two of her defeats came in the most important meetings of the year, the European Athletics Championships and the Olympic Games.
However, not winning a major title in 2012 has just given her greater resolve to do even better next year.
"My first goal is the completion of my undergraduate studies at my university. From a sporting perspective, my two targets for next year are to win a World Championships medal and break the 80 metres barrier at last," wrote Heidler on her website www.bettyheidler.de on Wednesday.
Her current world record stands at 79.42m, which was set in the German town of Halle last year.
She has this week started training again after a long holiday which saw her travel to Crete, Germany's Baltic coast and also Berlin.
"I never thought that six weeks of vacation can go by so fast," she reminisced.
Despite not being able to defend her 2010 European title, after crashing out in the qualifying rounds in Helsinki this summer, it was a far from unhappy year for Heidler.
As a result of being arguably the most consistent top level hammer in the world, she won the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge for the third successive year and scooped the top prize of $30,000.
Heidler also finished third at the London 2012 Olympic Games and, despite not placing higher on the podium, she was happy at finally winning a medal after finishing fourth in 2004 and then ninth four years later.
"It was a very exciting, exhausting but also successful Olympic year. My dream of an Olympic medal has been fulfilled in an emotionally high profile competition and I am very proud," she added.
However, Heidler has conceded in several interviews with the German media recently that she might not be around to fight for the medals again at the next Olympic Games in Rio.
"The fact that I could still be around by Rio 2016 is unlikely. I have noticed this year how hard it is to win gold. With that knowledge, to carry on like this for the next four years, and with all the hard training, it's difficult," said Heidler at the end of last month.
"There is still so much more to life that I would like to achieve. In 2013, I'll be competing with the very best but after that, then I'll see from year to year.
"By the time of the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, I will only be 32, but it's possible to stop your career at an early age, as you can see with Magdalena Neuner (the German skier who won two Olympic Games biathlon gold medals and 12 World Championships gold medals but who retired earlier this year at the age of 25)," commented Heidler.